The amount of information carried inside the mind differ from one person to another; you might know that chia seeds are those healthy seeds which you could add to your meals for several reasons and usually the main reason would be for weight loss, but others might not even be aware of those seeds or might just hear about them from afar without knowing about the benefits which they deliver to the body and the total health of the person. There are different things and some information which you should know when it comes to chia seeds and this article will give you the helping hand needed.
Eating them in your breakfast, considering them a good snack to depend on, realizing that they could be sprinkled on your lunch and dinner meals, or even using them in different baking processes, are all things that would make you more interested to know more about those seeds and learn more about the different benefits they could manage to provide the human body with.
What are Chia Seeds?
People tend to search for the benefits of chia seeds before they even consider knowing what those seeds are, what are the nutrients or the minerals they carry, where they came from, and generally get the chance to come in close contact with those seeds. At the beginning of this journey, you will need first to know what those seeds are; chia seeds are also referred to as Salvia Hispanica because they come from it and this Salvia Hispanica is a member of the mint family.
This seed is believed to be born in Central America and this goes back to the history that says that it was a staple in the ancient Aztec diet. At the beginning of that time, the Aztecs used to drink the chia Fresca – or as it is referred to “chia Iskiate” – in order to gain more energy and that was also the reason why the runners of the Tarahumara tribe who used to depend on this drink when it came to their running were considered the most famous; to be able to run for longer distances and for a longer period of time without getting easily tired.
All the attention given to chia seeds was mainly due to the different benefits delivered to the body through the nutrients and minerals which they carry. Those seeds are rich with omega-3 fatty acids, they are considered a good source of fiber, a good source of protein, and they carry different minerals which are also considered beneficial for the body, such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Eating Chia Seed
So, in order to gain the different benefits of chia seeds, you should know how they are supposed to be eaten and how they should be added to the different recipes and dishes prepared out there. Chia seeds could be eaten in different ways; they could be consumed and eaten raw and they could be also consumed and eaten after being prepared in different dishes.
In addition to that, chia seeds could be also eaten ground or could be consumed as whole seeds, which will definitely go back to the person and his/her likes. Ground or whole chia seeds could be sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, rice, or vegetables, and they could be also added to smoothies, juices, or water and that is what chia Fresca is all about; it is about adding chia seeds to water and lemon, some people add other fruits to the mixture as well.
The best thing about chia seeds is their edible taste, making it possible for you to add it to your different sandwiches, salads, add them to your baking recipes, as well as different other chia seeds recipes which you could try out there.
What are the Benefits of Chia Seeds?
After getting introduced to chia seeds, knowing the different ways they could be eaten and added to the meals, it is now the right time to know the different benefits that could be gained from those seeds and the way they could manage to help the body become healthier and more able to depend on healthy food choices. From the different benefits that chia seeds could offer to your body, you will find:
- Chia Seeds Carry Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Looking on chia seeds nutrition facts, one of the things that will come on the list at the top is the omega-3 fatty acid. Chia seeds are known to be rich with polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids since the lipid profile of chia seeds is composed of 60 percent of omega-3, making them one of the richest plant based sources of these fatty acids, especially the ALA (alpha linolenic acid). Omega-3 fatty acids are important because they help reduce inflammation, they enhance the cognitive performance, and they also tend to reduce the high level of cholesterol.
- Chia Seeds are Rich with Fiber
In addition to the omega-3 fatty acids which chia seeds are rich with, one of the other nutrients that chia seed is believed to be rich with is the fiber. There are different benefits carried to the body through fiber, such as reducing inflammation, lowering the level of cholesterol, as well as regulating the bowel function. But it is not just about that, actually chia seeds are usually consumed by those who want to lose some weight and it is actually believed that the fiber that is found in chia seeds is the main reason behind the full feeling that the person gets after eating small portions and also the main reason behind that full feeling which stays with them for a long period of time, banning them from snacking all the time.
- Chia Seeds Carry Different Important Minerals
There are some needs for the body and sometimes those needs are not provided by the body itself and should be delivered to it through the different healthy food types or even drinks. When it comes to chia seeds, there are actually different things that those seeds could manage to provide the body with, such as the different minerals which they carry. As we have mentioned at the beginning of the article, chia seed carries calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, and these different minerals will give the person the chance to maintain a healthy weight, prevent hypertension, important for energy metabolism, and at the same time are part of the DNA synthesis.
- Chia Seeds Also Carry Antioxidants
Whenever it comes to the different things that a specific type of food you are eating carries, there must be a specific benefit that it could manage to deliver to your body. Talking about the antioxidants that chia seeds carries and delivers to the body of the person consuming them, it is important to say that these antioxidants help with protecting the body from free radicals, aging, and cancer, which are different problems that people deal with on a daily basis. Apart from the benefits that could be delivered to the human body, those antioxidants found in chia seeds give them the chance to live longer on the shelf and without being refrigerated, since those seeds could last for almost two years when kept on the shelf and could do more than that when they are kept in the refrigerator.
- General Benefits for Chia Seeds
These are the different important nutrients and minerals which are found in chia seeds and which manage to provide the body with the different benefits that are found out there, we have to mention some of the common benefits related to chia seeds and the reason behind their existence. The mixture of protein and fiber in chia seeds help with the feeling of satiety and this is the reason behind the help chia seeds offer when it comes to those who want to lose some weight.
In addition to that, chia seeds are gluten free and this is considered important for those who are following a gluten free diet because it will manage to deliver all the different benefits to their bodies. The best thing about adding chia seeds to any diet plan you are following is that you could eat them in their whole or ground forms without worrying about not being digested, because they will probably will.
When you tend to leave chia seeds in water for a couple of minutes, they tend to absorb this water and turn into a gel like substance, which is the reason why they could be considered a good substitute for eggs. Using chia seeds as a substitute for eggs is considered beneficial because it lowers the level of cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods.
And finally, chia seeds are also good when it comes to the blood sugar regulation since they play a great role in regulating the insulin levels; they can reduce insulin resistance and at the same time decrease the abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
Chia Seeds Side Effects
There were different researches done on chia seeds benefits but there weren’t a lot of those focused on the side effects. The different researches that were done on the side effects of chia seeds found out that it is almost considered safe to consume this type of seed but pregnant women should always be careful and better if they stayed away from it, and those who are diagnosed with diabetes since they may help in regulating the level of glucose and might also overstimulate drugs that control the blood sugar. Those who might be taking blood thinners or might have low blood pressure, should always take care, they should first ask their doctors because the omega-3 found in chia seeds might lead the blood to thin out.
In other cases and with some people, chia seeds might cause allergies, such as diarrhea, vomiting, trouble in breathing, or swelling of the tongue, but this does not happen all the time and when it occurs, the prescription of a doctor will be needed. Last, one of the common side effects caused by chia seeds is gas and the bloating feeling, but this could be easily solved by eating them in the right ways.
Getting introduced to the type of food you are discovering for the first time is important; knowing about the benefits, the side effects, and the ways it could be eaten through will all give you the chance to know which direction you should take and how you are supposed to make this food type part of your diet plan. There are different benefits for chia seeds that could take over the side effects but only when you know how to use them in your different dishes and how they should be correctly consumed and eaten, just give yourself the chance to know about the recipes.