Chia Seeds For Women’s Health
Chia seeds are an ancient superfood, packed with nutrients that help promote optimal health and vitality. These seeds are not only superfoods, but are superstars when it comes to women’s health in particular. Chia seeds contain a significant amount of key nutrients needed by women during various stages of life.
In this blog, we will take a look at the benefits of chia seeds for women’s health.
Emotional Health and Sleep
Between hormone fluctuations and balancing life, mental health and sleep patterns can, at times, suffer. Chia seeds contain mood-boosting properties that may help reduce mood swings and promote sleep, making you more resilient to the inevitable challenges life has for you.
Chia seeds are a stellar source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that acts like a precursor to important hormones, including the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in promoting positive moods and in producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
Chia seeds may also boost serotonin levels through their ability to promote a healthy balanced gut microbiota. Approximately 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut and thousands of nerve endings from the gut go straight to the brain: happy gut (partly thanks to chia), happy life.
Over the course of time between stress, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and just plain getting older, women may experience body weight fluctuations. A little chia seed boost in your diet may aid in lifelong healthy weight maintenance for multiple reasons.
Reason #1 Fiber
Evidence shows that fiber aids in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, and chia seeds have it: a lot of it. Chia seeds have a whopping 10g of fiber in just two tablespoons. That works out to about 40% of your recommended daily intake. Evidence shows that consuming 30g of fiber per day can significantly aid in weight loss.
The weight management power of chia seeds comes partly from the fact that the seeds’ fiber is primarily a type of fiber called soluble fiber. Soluble fiber expands and forms into a gel when mixed with water. Once in the digestive tract, this expansion can make you feel full, which will help you decrease your portions and caloric intake. This chia seed gel also acts like a magnet in the digestive system, trapping cholesterol, calories, and fats and then pushing them through the digestive system, thereby decreasing their absorption and “cleaning out your pipes” to boot.
Not only can fiber help you feel fuller, slow down nutrient absorption, and decrease calorie intake, fiber also helps you feed the trillions of bacteria living in your digestive system and promotes a healthy gut microbiota. Your gut microbiota weighs about 4.4 pounds and can influence your body weight. Research has shown that an imbalance of good-to-bad bacteria can promote weight gain, while a healthy balanced gut microbiota promotes weight loss and healthy weight management.
Reason #2 Fat
One of the most important benefits of chia seeds for women’s health comes from their good fat content. Because chia seeds are also high in fat, a total of 9g of healthy fats, chia seeds are slow to digest. The slow digestion of healthy fat promotes satiation and helps decrease caloric intake, thus aiding in weight loss and weight loss maintenance.
Chia seeds for women’s health are also excellent sources of magnesium and calcium for women’s health. Both of these nutrients are needed to maintain and build bones. As women get older, our bone mass tends to decrease, making it increasingly important to include rich sources of both calcium and magnesium to prevent osteoporosis. According to the National Osteoporosis foundation, one in two women over the age of 50 will break bones due to osteoporosis. Chia seeds contain 18% of your recommended intake of calcium and 30% of your recommended intake of magnesium. Gram for gram, chia seeds contain more calcium and magnesium than dairy, making them an outstanding bone-building source to help prevent osteoporosis.
Fatigue, “pregnancy brain,” constipation, and high blood sugars or low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) are all common complaints during pregnancy. Chia seeds contain several nutrients that are especially helpful at combatting these side effects to help you grow a healthy baby.
Chia seeds contain a whopping 5000mg of omega-3 in two tablespoons. Omega-3s are a vital component of both mommy’s brain and growing baby’s brain. Research has shown omega-3s are essential in a baby’s early neurological and visual development. A diet high in omega-3s may help prevent mommy brain fog and balance blood sugars, preventing both elevated and low blood sugars.
Chia seeds are an excellent iron source, containing 2.2mg of iron per ounce. In pregnancy, your blood volume significantly increases to help supply both blood and oxygen to you and your growing baby. Iron is needed to help your body make hemoglobin, a component of your red blood cells that help transport oxygen to you and your baby. Becoming depleted in iron can make it hard to concentrate and make your feel completely lousy. About 15-25% of women become anemic in pregnancy so it’s important to include iron-rich foods at every meal to help keep up with the increased demand.
The list goes on and on for the power of chia seeds for women’s health. Not only are chia seeds rich sources of the nutrients above, but they’re amazing sources of plant-based protein, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, and are known to help prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Needless to say, chia is a female power food and highly recommend as part of a balanced diet.