Written by Ushakiran Sisodia
The popularity of chia seeds as a nutritional powerhouse has steadily grown, with some claims suggesting they are superior to animal-based protein. Besides weight loss, cholesterol control, and acid reduction, chia seeds are said to be a better source of protein and nutrition than animal foods like eggs and meat, but research Science and broader data are needed to back up these claims.
CHIA SEEDS ARE RICH IN NUTRIENTS
Protein is an essential nutrient for building and repairing body tissue. Animal foods such as chicken and goat meat lead the way, with about 25-26 grams of protein per 100 grams compared to the respectable 16-17 grams of protein from chia seeds. However, chia seeds contain all ten essential amino acids, specifically arginine, leucine, phenylalanine, valine, and lysine, making them a complete source of protein. A study conducted on diabetic rats found that chia seed protein has the potential to improve blood sugar control and reduce inflammation.
Fat is another important nutrient that provides needed energy and helps absorb certain vitamins. While eggs, chicken, and goat meat are high in fat, with around 14-22 grams of fat per 100 grams, chia seeds offer a slightly higher fat content at over 30 grams.
Chia seeds surpass animal foods in mineral richness, offering phosphorus (860–919 mg/100 g), calcium (456–631 mg/100 g), potassium (407–726 mg/ 100 g) and magnesium (335 –449 mg/100 g) in the greatest quantities. Animal foods are also rich in minerals, mainly calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, but in lesser amounts.
Chia seeds are an exceptional source of fiber, an essential nutrient that supports digestive health, metabolism, and weight management. While eggs, chicken, goat meat or other foods of animal origin contain little or no fiber, chia seeds, with 34.4 g/100 g of fiber, contain a higher amount. than any other superfood such as flax seeds, quinoa, pumpkin seeds or almonds.
ANIMAL PROTEINS ARE MORE BIO-AVAILABLE
However, while chia seeds may offer unique benefits, animal-based proteins like eggs and meat are also highly nutritious. Animal-based proteins are often more bioavailable, which means the body can easily absorb and use the nutrients they contain. For example, eggs are one of the best sources of choline, an important nutrient for brain health and development. Additionally, meat is an excellent source of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, which can be difficult to obtain from plant sources.
Yet the modern mass building or athletic community, including cricketers, footballers, UFC fighters, and professional bodybuilders, opt for plant-based protein diets over plant-based protein diets. animal proteins. The low saturated fat and cholesterol content, faster recovery, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, general storage feasibility and durability of plant-based proteins have encouraged professional athletes to forgo animal-based foods. .
WHY CHIA SEEDS MAKE SENSE IN A COMBINATION DIET
A Nutrition Source study from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health states that “60% of the oil in chia seeds comes from omega-3 fatty acids. In animal and human studies, omega-3 fatty acids have shown a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health (lowering cholesterol, regulating heart rate and blood pressure, preventing blood clots, decreasing inflammation). The fiber load reduces low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and given its slow digestion, avoids sugar peaks in the body in addition to promoting long-term satiety.
The study reveals that “a large Chinese cohort of more than 63,000 people found that those with the highest intakes of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood and plant sources had a 17% reduced risk. cardiovascular mortality compared to those who had the lowest intakes”. …Animal studies have shown that chia seeds may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, weight loss and increased satiety. However, literature reviews and controlled trials in humans have not shown any specific benefit of chia seeds on cardiovascular risk factors, including body weight, blood pressure, lipid levels, blood sugar. and inflammation. These results confirm that chia seeds do not act alone to benefit human health, but may aid in disease prevention when incorporated as part of a varied plant-based diet and organic ingredients. other healthy lifestyle behaviors.
THERE ARE ALSO OTHER SUPERFOODS
India is no stranger to superfoods. Nutrient-rich turmeric, ashwagandha, amla and coconut have been part of our daily meals since Vedic times. However, foreign superfoods like quinoa, acai berries, spirulina, matcha and chia seeds are fast becoming part of the Indian diet. Incorporating these superfoods into a balanced and varied diet can provide many benefits, especially for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Each individual has different nutritional needs depending on their age, sex, weight, state of health and level of physical activity. Food choices in India can also be influenced by a variety of factors such as personal beliefs, ethical concerns and cultural traditions. Therefore, it’s crucial to approach food choices with an open mind and consider all the factors that could impact your health and well-being. It’s also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with certain food choices, such as nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances, or adverse reactions to specific foods.
In conclusion, while chia seeds may provide unique nutritional benefits, animal-based proteins like eggs and meat are also highly nutritious and may provide additional benefits over plant-based sources. Ultimately, the best diet is one that meets your nutritional needs, preferences, and lifestyle while promoting optimal health and well-being. Consulting a healthcare professional or dietitian can be helpful in determining an ideal diet for you.