[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]The next time you happen to hear the word chia being mentioned, forget about the green fur or hair that is characteristic of Chia Pets but instead think of food. Legend has it that Aztec warriors fed on chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. It was believed that just a spoonful chia could sustain them for 24 hours. Science has since established that the chia seeds are as potent as they were believed to be. One ounce has been established to contain 9 grams fat, 4 grams of protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 139 calories, and 11 grams of fiber, not forgetting vitamins and minerals.
So what are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are edible grains that are produced by the Salvia Hispanica, a desert plant that grows in Mexico. It does make sense that these seeds are taken to boost physical energy because every nutrient found within them is at concentrated levels. So medicinal and nutritious are these seeds that they were used as currency by Mexicans in the past.
Chai seeds are found in two colors; white and black but the only difference between the two is that the darker variety has been found to contain higher levels of antioxidants. These antioxidant levels are the highest ever found in a food substance.
Health benefits of chia seeds
There are many diseases today that modern medicine is struggling to manage but which, historically, were effectively managed by traditional medicines. Chia seeds are some of the most popular and sought-after superfoods of the health community. Like many other natural remedies, their side effects can also be beneficial to some people. Packed with large proportions of key nutrients, scientific studies have established that chia seeds have the following top benefits;
We all want to age gracefully. What this means is that we mature but the skin remains youthful. The secret to retaining the youthfulness of the skin is hampering the activity of free radicals. Chia seeds have a stop rate of 70% which means that the skin has enough time to repair itself before damage to its structure is enhanced by time.
According to the American Dietetic Association, one serving of chia seeds provides enough fiber requirements for a day. By consuming a diet that is high in fiber, the body is able to sufficiently regulate its insulin levels and, in turn, the blood sugar content. A diet that is rich in fiber also promotes healthy bowel movements, preventing constipation. Did you know that when you eat a meal that is rich in fiber, your stomach feels full faster that in turn supports a healthy weight? Probiotics are an important component of the digestive system because they not only break down food but enhance absorption into the blood stream. Eat food enhanced with chia seeds and you will get a dose of beneficial probiotics.
Chia has also been linked in helping to lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure from the linoleum, which is a fatty acid that aids the body in absorbing fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Chia contains high amounts of the heart healthy fat Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s can be supportive in lowering blood pressure and inflammation, which can place a strain on your blood vessels.
We all want to go to the gym and last through our 60-minute workout, but what is really desired is maintaining the same energy levels from the start to end of your workday. Have you ever heard the saying that ‘women never go on holiday’? I am sure you have left work on several occasions with the intention of heading straight to bed – that is until you found the house disorganized, or had to spend so much extra time preparing for the next day, that you end up going to bed very late. Don’t reach for that can of energy drink; instead, pop a spoonful or two of chia seeds into your mouth.
Bone and tooth mass
The human skeleton is what makes it possible to move and have body mass balance and we, therefore, need a structure that can support our weight without breaking or becoming deformed. Calcium is needed on a daily basis to maintain bone strength and mass, but calcium requires boron to metabolize. Chia seeds contain boron, which not only metabolizes calcium but magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese — all essential for bone and muscle health.
How to use chia?
Chia seeds have a mild and nutty flavor, which makes them suitable additives to any food or beverage. Since they so not need cooking before they are consumed, they are in most cases sprinkled on foods, drinks, and salads before they are eaten. Here are some easy ways to incorporate chia seeds into your diet:[/vc_column_text][unordered_list style=”circle” animate=”no”]
Add to water or as a morning chia shot
Add to your granola mixture
Make a pudding. Check out my Easy Chia Pudding Recipe
Add it into your favorite muffins or bread
Sprinkle onto salads.
[/unordered_list][vc_column_text]The only consideration in adding chia seeds to any kind of food is the change in texture that takes place when they are soaked in water. If you like them crunchy, add them just before you have your meal and experience wholesome goodness and mouthwatering fullness all at once.
You will find chia seeds easy to use because there is no special preparation needed before eating them. Good news to those trying to avoid gluten in your diet? Chia seeds do not contain gluten and are therefore a healthy source of nutrients to those with gluten intolerance.