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Modern Science View By
MSc, BSc
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated on:
24 Sep 2019 | 12:29 PM (IST)
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Chia seeds

Chia seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica. These seeds are considered among the most nutritious foods and are also known as “Functional food”. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Dry chia seeds can be consumed alone or can also be added to smoothies and juices, mixed into yogurt as well as oatmeal, or sprinkled on salads.
Chia seeds being rich in antioxidants, are considered to be beneficial for the skin as they protect the skin cells against damage caused by free radicals. Applying Chia seed oil improves skin health as it keeps the skin hydrated and prevents water loss.
According to Ayurveda, applying Chia seed oil along with coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and honey on the hair and scalp helps to control hair fall due to its Snigdha (oily) and Ropan (healing) properties.
Chia seeds might also help in managing weight. Certain constituents such as omega 3-fatty acids and fibers present in Chia seeds plays a vital role in weight loss. Chia seeds might also help manage the levels of cholesterol due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and thereby reduce the risk of heart diseases[1][2][3][5][6][7].

What are the synonyms of Chia seeds?

Salvia hispanica, Chia Beej

What is the source of Chia seeds?

Plant Based

Benefits of Chia seeds

What are the benefits of Chia seeds for Obesity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seeds may be beneficial in weight loss. Chia seeds contain omega 3-fatty acids, alpha-linoleic acid and fiber. These components may play a vital role in weight loss as well as reduce waist circumference[2][5][6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chia seeds are useful in managing weight. Chia seeds gives a feeling of satiety and reduces craving. This is because it takes time to digest due to its Guru (heavy) nature.
Tips:
1. Add some Chia seeds to a bowl of oats with milk or coconut milk.
2. Take it in your breakfast to manage weight.

What are the benefits of Chia seeds for Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & Type 2)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seeds may be useful in managing diabetes. The presence of high amount of fibre in Chia seeds slows down digestion and the release of sugar in blood. This helps in regulating blood sugar level[2][5][7].

What are the benefits of Chia seeds for Hypertension (high blood pressure)?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seeds and Chia seed flour may be useful in managing high blood pressure. Chia seed flour reduces the level of nitrites in the blood. Chia seeds also contain components that function as angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE-I) inhibitors. It may thus be useful in regulating blood pressure in hypertensive patients[2][8][9].

What are the benefits of Chia seeds for Stroke?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seeds may be useful in managing heart disease and stroke. Chia seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid. These components help maintain a regular heart rhythm and inhibit platelet aggregation thus preventing the risk of heart failure and stroke[2][7][10].

How effective is Chia seeds?

Likely effective
Obesity
Insufficient evidence
Diabetes mellitus (Type 1 & Type 2), Hypertension (high blood pressure), Stroke

Precautions when using Chia seeds

Advice from Experts
scientific
Modern Science View
1. Consult your doctor before taking Chia seeds for a longer period[2].
2. Consult your doctor while taking Chia seeds if you have prostate cancer[2].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available on the use of Chia seeds during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to consult your doctor while taking Chia seeds during breastfeeding[2].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available on the use of Chia seeds during pregnancy. So, it is advisable to consult your doctor while taking Chia seeds during pregnancy[2].

Recommended Dosage of Chia seeds

  • Chia seeds Seeds - 2-3 teaspoons or as per your requirement.
  • Chia seeds Oil - ½- 1 teaspoon in a day.

How to use Chia seeds

1. Chia seeds in water
a. Take 2-3 teaspoon of Chia seeds.
b. Add it to 1 glass of lukewarm water with continuous stirring.
c. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
d. Drink this Chia seeds water preferably before having food.

2. Chia seeds in salad or smoothie
a. Select any salad or smoothie as per your liking.
b. Sprinkle ½-1 teaspoon of Chia seeds on it and have it.

3. Chia seeds oil capsule
a. Take 1-2 Chia seeds Oil capsules.
b. Swallow it with lukewarm water.
c. Take it twice a day.

4. Chia seeds oil
a. Take ½-1 teaspoon Chia seeds oil.
b. Take it preferably in the morning before meals.

Benefits of Chia seeds

What are the benefits of Chia seeds for Itching?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seed oil may be useful in managing itching. It provides enough hydration to prevent itching associated with dryness. It also manages scars and lesions caused due to itching[2][7][12].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chia seed oil helps to reduce itching and remove excessive dryness. This is because excessive itching or dryness is due to an imbalance of Vata. Chia seeds have the property of Snigdha (oily) which helps to balance Vata and reduce itching associated with dryness.
Tips:
1. Take 1/2-1 teaspoon Chia seed oil.
2. Add coconut oil to it.
3. Gently apply to the affected area.
4. Leave it the whole day to control itching.

How effective is Chia seeds?

Insufficient evidence
Itching

Precautions when using Chia seeds

Advice from Experts
scientific
Modern Science View
Consult your doctor before using Chia seeds for longer period[2].

Recommended Dosage of Chia seeds

  • Chia seeds Powder - 1-2 teaspoon or as per your requirement.
  • Chia seeds Oil - 1-2 teaspoon or as per your requirement.

How to use Chia seeds

1. Chia seeds hair mask
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Chia seeds in a bowl.
b. Soak them in 1 cup lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes until it starts to swell.
c. Strain the solution. You should get a gel-like consistency.
d. Now add coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and honey to it.
e. Combine all the ingredients well.
f. Use this on your hair and roots after shampooing of hair.
g. Rinse and enjoy your silky soft hair.
h. Store leftovers in small glass container and your whenever your feel like.

2. Chia seed Oil
a. Take ½ -1 teaspoon chia seed oil
b. Add sesame oil to it.
c. Gently massage on the affected area.
d. Use this remedy once a day to get rid of joint pain and inflammation.

3. Chia seeds powder face mask
a. Take 1- 2 teaspoons of Chia seeds powder
b. Add coconut oil and lemon juice to it.
c. Make a paste and apply on the face for 5-7 minutes.
d. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
e. Use this remedy 2-3 times a week to get rid of skin infections and blemishes.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How much Chia seeds should you eat a day?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seeds are high in fibre content. As a result, it may cause certain digestive problems. Thus it is advised not to take more than 3-4 teaspoons of Chia seeds in a day.

Q. What are some of the foods where you can add Chia seeds?

scientific
Modern Science View
1. Add it to juices and smoothies.
2. Sprinkle it over the salads.
3. Mix them with yoghurt or oatmeal.

Q. Do Chia seeds need to be soaked before eating?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia seeds need to be soaked to make it easily digestible and absorbed. This is because Chia seeds contains very high amount of fibres which may lead to some digestive problems.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chia seeds need to be soaked before eating. This is because soaking makes it Laghu (light to digest) and digestible as well as easily absorbed.

Q. How to make Chia water?

scientific
Modern Science View
Chia water can be made by the following method:
1. Take 2 cups of water in a jar and add 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds to it.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice and 1 tablespoon of honey to it.
3. Mix all the ingredients properly.
4. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.
5. Chia water is ready.

Q. Are Chia seeds bad for diabetic patients?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Chia seeds help to control food craving in diabetic patients which helps to maintain normal blood sugar level. This is because Chia seeds take time to digest due to its Guru (heavy) nature. As a result of which, it delays the absorption of other foods and produces a feeling of fullness.

Q. Can Chia seeds cause constipation?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
If Chia seeds are taken without enough water, it can cause constipation. This is because it absorbs water from the intestine and makes a sticky substance. This substance sticks to the wall of the intestine and causes a delay in the bowel movement. So it is advisable to drink plenty of water along with Chia seeds to avoid constipation.

Q. Do Chia seeds make you poop?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Chia seeds have laxative property which may be useful in making you poop[7][11]. But it is advisable not to consume Chia seeds in excess.

Q. Can Chia seeds cause hair loss?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
No, in fact Chia seed oil helps to control hair fall when applied on the scalp. It nourishes split-ends and scalp due to its Snigdha (oily) and Ropan (healing) properties.

References

  1. RASHED AR, GAZEM AK, CHANDRASHEKARIAH SA. PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF SALVIA HISPANICA (Chia) SEEDS: A REVIEW.Journal of Critical Reviews.2016.3(3): 63-67.
  2. WebMD.Chia: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].
  3. Chicco AG, D'Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, et al.Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats.Br J Nutr. 2009;101(1):41-50.
  4. Toscano LT, da Silva CS, Toscano LT, et al.Chia flour supplementation reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2014;69(4):392-8.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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