Chia seeds have gained popularity in the health food scene in the past few years. While it may seem like a relatively new discovery, the seeds been used for centuries. The Aztecs and the Mayans cultivated the seeds for their nutritional value. It seems that we are going back to those days when our predecessors used to explore their own ways of staying healthy without being aware of the term called “science”.
Chia is native to Mexico and Guatemala and is a member of the mint family. While they tend to be more expensive than flax seeds, the seeds offer many of the same benefits. They are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and one ounce of them delivers 11 grams of fiber – which is 42% of the daily recommended value. The seeds of the chia plan also contain protein, calcium, and antioxidants.
You can gather the chia seeds benefits in many ways. Unlike flax seeds, they do not need to be ground in order to access the nutrients within – and they also keep well. Many health food companies are now including chia seeds in their foods, such as smoothies and granola bars. They can be added to nearly any dish by sprinkling the seeds on top, or by mixing them into the dish. Chia seeds can also be added to beverages, adding a slightly nutty taste. A tea can be brewed from the seeds of the chia plant. There is a popular beverage that originates from Mexico made of water, lemon juice, sugar, and chia seeds.
On top of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds, there are lifestyle benefits as well. Here are 10 benefits of adding chia seeds to your diet:
Weight Loss: The seeds can help greatly with weight loss. When exposed to water, the seeds expand, increasing in size and weight. This contributes to a feeling of fullness that lasts and is a healthy alternative to other weight loss methods like pills and fad diets. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help boost metabolism too.
Colon Health: Chia seeds can also contribute to colon health. Chia seeds are a soluble fiber, turning into a gel when exposed to water. This property can help soothe and cleanse the colon. In addition, the seeds can absorb toxins from the digestive tract.
Blood Sugar Management: When consumed, chia seeds help the body in slowing the digestion and processing of complex carbohydrates. The soluble fiber that the seeds introduce into the body helps maintain a steady level of blood glucose. In turn, this supplies the body with a steady level of energy.
Provides Vitamins and Minerals: In addition to fiber and protein, chia seeds also contain magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and niacin that help to strongly build up the body including bones, muscles, teeth, etc.
Lowers the Risk of Certain Diseases: Chia seeds can help protect against heart disease due to the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that they provide. In addition, the vitamins and minerals contained in the seeds help to boost the immune system. Also, due to the stabilizing effect chia seeds have on blood sugar, they can help relieve some symptoms of diabetes. Furthermore, studies have shown that the seeds may lower blood pressure.
Introducing chia seeds into your diet can be rewarding in so many ways, and they are so easy to incorporate into the foods and drinks that you normally consume. Days are not far when health would totally revolve around herbs and plant extracts and that specific period may be known by herbal age.