Secret Of The Ancient Chia Seeds: Unraveled!
Size does not matter…not at least when the nutritional content in on your mind. Chia seeds are the latest super foods that health conscious people the world over care about. They may be tiny, but only two spoonfuls of it is loaded with minerals and fiber that can give you a lot of energies and help in weight loss. Is the spite of being tasteless they can make you feel full for long hours thus reducing your hunger. Sprinkle them over your breakfast and get the goodness of chia seeds.
What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are not exactly new to the world since they have been part of the staple of the Mayans and Aztecs for thousands of years and have given energy to their warriors. Chia means strength in ancient Mayan and they have been known as the Indian Running Food for years owing to the energy and endurance that it has provided the people. In many ways, it may be considered as an important food that should be consumed on a regular basis but research is still on. It should be used more as a source of whole grain food rather than just a supplement. But if you have the allergy to mustard or sesame seed then try taking the doctor’s opinion before using it in your daily diet. It does not have much of downside except that it should be consumed with caution. Take a look at the benefits of chia seeds.
1. Get the essential fiber!
Fiber is good for your health and helps to digest food. It is not easily digested by the body and keeps you feeling full thus curbing your hunger. It expands in the stomach after coming in contact with water and increases to about 12 times its weight. Consuming an adequate amount of water after eating these seeds is very important in order to maximize the benefits of chia seeds. It is a low-carb food and hence useful for weight-watchers. An ounce of chia seeds has about 11 grams of fiber in it which is around a third of your daily requirement.
2. Presence of antioxidants
Chia seeds have a lot of antioxidants in them which are good for health. They prevent the creation of free radicals in the body which destroys the molecules in cells and aids in causing cancer and aging.
3. High protein content
The small chia seeds have a lot of protein in them, in fact, 14 percent more that most plants. It also has a good balance of amino acids which enables the body to make use of the protein. High proteins help curb hunger yet provide the body with all the nutrients. Those looking to shed the flab need food that is rich in protein and without any fat. It is especially useful if you consume little or no animal protein like vegetarians and vegans.
4. Keeps you slim and trim
Consuming chia seeds alone or as part of the daily diet cannot have the much significant effect on your body weight. What you can do is combine it with the diet and add to it an exercise regime and lifestyle changes that are normally followed by weight-watchers. The fact that the seeds are rich in protein, minerals, and fiber stop you from feeling hungry and aid in weight loss. But you will need to work out to shed the kilos and become slim.
5. Source of Omega 3-fatty acids
The small seeds store more Omega-3 fatty acids than a salmon. But it is of the Alpha Linolenic Acid or ALA kind which is not much beneficial to humans as it needs to be converted to DHA and EPA before it can be used by the human body. But your body is not very efficient in converting ALA into DHA which is an essential fatty acid. Omega-3 is responsible for decreasing depression and increasing the function of the brain. It can help patients with bipolar disorder.
6. Improve bone health
Chia seeds are extremely important in preventing osteoporosis and having stronger bones. It has phosphorus, calcium, protein and magnesium all of which are very essential in improving the condition of your bones.
7. Lower blood pressure
If you are suffering from high blood pressure and inflammation then these seeds can be very beneficial for you. Studies have shown that people suffering from type 2 diabetes have experience better results in terms of lower blood pressure and inflammation after taking chia seeds. They have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar and help in the production of insulin which takes away much of the belly fat.
8. Better sports performance
If you want to improve performance on the sports field and increase endurance then these tiny seeds can really help you. Studies have revealed that chia seeds can replace Gatorade without hampering the performance of athletes which means that it can be used to carb load athletes. It thus improves the intake of nutrients and reduces the consumption of sugar thereby making them more energetic and improving their abilities.
9. Easy to add to your diet
Chia seeds with its multiple benefits make it mandatory to incorporate in the daily diet which is also very easy. Owing to the bland taste of the seeds they can be added to almost anything tasty without feeling any difference. You can eat them raw or add them to the morning cereal, porridge, yogurt, cereal or smoothies. It actually works better on wet foods. Ground it into dust and sprinkle it atop the vegetables, yogurt or the rice dishes. The seeds absorb a lot of water and hence can be used to thicken the gravy. However, if you are not much used to eating fiber don’t add too much of it in the food just yet. Fiber is difficult to digest and you can have an upset stomach if you are not careful. The seeds can be stored in the pantry or the refrigerator for a long time without any chance of its turning rancid so you can safely buy them in bulk.