Those tiny seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica carry several benefits for the body making them just another good addition to some recipes being prepared out there. Being part of the mint family makes the issue of being beneficial not much of a surprise, but actually this seed which was considered sacred by the Aztecs who used to sacrifice it in their religious ceremonies, brings us to the point where we are supposed to stop, look around, and then decide where and when we are going to use it in order to receive some of these important benefits related to it. Chia seed is definitely good for several things, starting with weight loss and ending with lowering the risk of some diseases.
Are Chia Seeds Good for You?
Actually this is one of the best questions to ask yourself when you are trying to understand whether a specific food will be able to give your body the needed amount of benefits or not, and this is supposedly one of the most important questions as well that are asked about chia seeds. Chia seeds are grown in several countries out there, such as Guatemala, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico, and Paraguay and it is also used in different recipes done out there, whether drinks or food.
Chia seeds are considered a very good source of energy and maybe this is the reason why the Mayans used to consider it a food with different supernatural powers; In the Mayan language, chia means “strength”. Being a good source of energy, we should never forget to mention the Mexican Tarahumara tribe which was famous for its runners, those runners who used to drink the mixture of chia seeds, lemon, and water in what is called Iskiate, which gives them the chance to run hundreds of miles after drinking it.
Being a good source of energy as well as being important for fighting several diseases and aiding in the different weight loss programs, we could say that chia seeds are beneficial and because they do not carry that strong taste, they could be actually added to different other ingredients out there.
Chia Seeds Health Benefits
The health benefits of chia seeds are numerous and they actually make this seed come under the category of superfoods which people are supposed to add to their days. If being important for weight loss was the only reason behind using chia seeds, then after knowing all the other benefits that it could deliver to the rest of your body, you will be amazed and will keep using it for these different other important reasons.
First of all, it is important to know about chia seeds nutrition facts in order to understand from where these benefits come from. Chia seeds carry 42% of the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber which is about 9 grams, 4.4 grams of protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, 77 milligrams of calcium which makes about 18% of the recommended daily amount, 27% of the recommended daily amount of phosphorus, and 7% of the recommended daily amount of zinc and all these nutrients and minerals are delivered with little amount of calories which only make 137 per serving.
- Chia Seeds are Considered a Good Source of Fiber
It is important to know that all the carbs found in chia seeds are fiber. Every one ounce of chia seeds carries 12 grams of carbohydrates and 11 of those grams are fiber only, which is not digested by the body. There are several backed up reasons behind considering fiber important for the body; fiber does not raise the blood sugar and it does not require insulin to be disposed of and thus should not be even counted or considered as a carb.
Fiber is the reason behind chia seed being an important ingredient added to the diet plan of those who are trying to lose some weight because it can increase the fullness feeling in the stomach. This fullness feeling is achieved for one important reason; when it is added to water, this seed absorbs it and thus expands 10 to 12 times their weight which turns into a gel like substance that expands in the stomach. This makes it the first reason behind not eating or consuming a lot of food after eating little amounts of chia seeds.
Chia seed is also important because it feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine which is important because keeping the gut bugs well fed is important for your own health.
- They are High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you could believe this fact, we want to tell you that chia seeds carry more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, which is pretty more surprising for a lot of people. The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds are mostly Alpha Linolenic Acid, which is not as much beneficial as what people might think, but it is still important for them all the way. Omega-3 acids are mainly important for the ability they have to help with the functionality of the brain.
Another important benefit for the omega-3 that is found in chia seeds is being able to protect the heart by lowering the blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and inflammation, and mentioning inflammation here is important because it can actually put strain on the blood vessels and thus cause heart disease.
- Chia Seeds Carry Important Bone Nutrients
One of the things that is always linked to chia seeds and the benefits that they carry is the fact that they are important for bringing up strong bones and this is because of the different nutrients which they carry that are related to the health of the bones in general. From these different nutrients and minerals that help the bones become stronger, there is the calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein. We all know that calcium is one of the important minerals needed when we talk about good bones, and it is actually high in chia seeds since they carry about 18 percent of the recommended daily amount of it.
There is another essential nutrients found in chia seeds but which is not always referred to; the boron. This boron helps in metabolizing calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus for the healthy growth of the bones and the muscles.
- The Fiber and Omega-3 Found in Chia Seeds Can Cure Diabetes
Chia benefits have reached the point where they became related to beating and curing type-2 diabetes and this is according to a research that was done by the University of Litoral in Argentina which worked on determining how chia seeds can help metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia and insulin resistance which are two factors in the development of diabetes. After doing several tests and experiments, it was found that eating chia seeds completely prevented the onset of dyslipidemia and insulin resistance, and it was also found that those who were fed chia seeds for two months, managed to recover completely from their conditions.
- Chia Seeds are Helpful for the Health of the Skin
Its seems that chia seeds benefits are not only related to the inner parts of the body and curing different major diseases, but it is also important when it comes to the health of the skin as well as fighting the aging symptoms that appear on the skin. It is important to know that chia seeds have antioxidants and these antioxidants are known to fight the damage that might be caused by free radicals. These natural antioxidants also help in speeding up the skin’s repair system and preventing it from being damaged in the future. When it comes to skin aging, we can say that taking chia seeds is important to prevent the premature skin aging due to the damage of inflammation free radical.
How to Eat Chia Seeds?
To receive all the previously mentioned benefits of chia seeds, it is important to know how they could be eaten. Chia seeds are not strong in their taste and that is the reason why they could be almost added to all the different recipes you are preparing and with both, the drinks as well as the food. Being the most famous drink out there done from chia seeds, the chia Fresca has been there since the old days of the Aztecs who used to drink it for energy, this drink is just a combination of water and chia seeds, and some people add lemon to it.
Another possible way to eat chia seeds is by transforming them to pudding; this pudding is usually made by placing the seeds in water or in coconut milk, leaving it in the fridge overnight, and then coming to it later to find the water absorbed and the seeds turned to that pudding-like substance that is considered a very good choice for breakfast.
Chia seeds could be also sprinkled the way they are on yogurt with some fruits added to them. You should always make sure that you are not using these seeds on their own without other ingredients because they might lead to some digestive problems because of their ability to expand in the stomach, so make sure they are always added to different other ingredients.
They could be added to smoothies by being mixed over them or even just sprinkled on top, which could be also done with the dishes that you prepare.
There are millions of ways to eat chia seeds through and even if you prefer to drink them, then the easiest recipe you could prepare out there is the chia Fresca. Receiving the benefits of chia seeds will happen no matter how you are consuming them, even when they are grinded into chia flour and used in some baking recipes.