Scientifically known as Salvia hispanica, chia seeds are considered to be one of the few superfoods nature has bestowed us with. Originating in Mexico, and dating back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. In the Mayan language, ‘chia’ means strength. These seeds are known for their richness in omega-3 fatty acids (consuming chia seeds is the easiest way to take these healthy fat acids), fiber (A single serving of chia seeds gives you almost a third of your daily fiber requirement), protein, antioxidants, and calcium. They also act as a natural laxative. A 28-gram, or 1-ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein. The seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that are absorbed by the body as seeds. Chia seeds can be eaten cooked or raw, but they should be added to another food or soaked before eating. By simply get the chia seeds a little wet, and you will see them turning into a gel, which is the soluble fiber. The benefits of soluble fiber are many like manage blood sugar, feeds the gut-friendly bacteria, and even bulks up the stool. If you have bone issues, you can swear by chia seeds. A high content of calcium, phosphorous, and manganese make them good for the bones.
What can chia seed do for your health?
Stimulate Weight Loss: chia seeds have an excellent fiber content. A normal intake of chia seeds a day, which amounts to 25 to 38 grams a day, can go a long way in helping you shed those kilos. The seeds are also found to reduce belly fat. They also make you feel satiety which makes you eat less than usual. Just add two tablespoons of raw or whole chia seeds into a glass of water. Stir well. After allowing the mixture to settle (for a few minutes), drink them quickly before they get swollen due to water absorption. Fiber in chia seeds also helps you feel full for longer periods of time. It promotes satiety. The seeds absorb water in the stomach and then expand, thereby suppressing your appetite. This can eventually lead to weight loss. Prevent Constipation: they are packed in insoluble fiber and they turn into a gel when they come in contact with water. This adds to your stool and aids bowel movements, thereby relieving constipation. Fiber also has been found to improve digestion. Fight Breast Cancer And Other Forms Of Cancer: A report published by the UCSF Medical Center, chia seeds are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, which can help prevent breast cancer. The same goes for omega-3 fatty acids as well. The chia seeds oil was also found to have anti-cancer properties. It appeared to reduce tumor growth and inhibit the replication of cancer cells.
Improve Cardiovascular Health: According to a report published by the West Virginia University, the chia seeds omega-3 fatty acids content can enhance heart health and prevent any heart-related ailments. The omega-3s also reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. In addition, they reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat, lower blood pressure, and slow down the accumulation of arterial plaque. Boost Energy and Metabolism: Chia seeds are packed with B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium which are full of energy. You can add the seeds to your favorite smoothie, breakfast or snack and enjoy a refreshing burst of energy. Packed with Protein: Chia seeds contain 19% protein. The seeds contain high-quality protein with all the necessary amino acids. Enhance Mood: Chia, considered a superfood, is believed to enhance your mood upon regular consumption. A Pittsburgh stud said omega-3 fatty acids are associated with improved mood and behavior, and might also help you combat depression. Rich in Antioxidants: Antioxidants are not only good for the cells, but for the skin as well, the antioxidants in chia seeds have also been found to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Good for Bones and Teeth: is an effective way to improve calcium intake, in addition to calcium, chia seeds are also rich in manganese, both of which are crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth. They are also rich in phosphorus, a mineral that has been found to enhance bone health.
Can Improve Skin Health: The omega- found in chia seeds increase circulation and reduce dryness and skin, also help protect the skin from UV radiation. Chia seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties that could help prevent wrinkles and help reduce skin sagging. Can Be Used As A Substitute For Eggs: All you need are a tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water. Ground the chia seeds, and then mix them with water in a small bowl. Keep it aside for 5 minutes, post which the mixture takes on a gooey consistency similar to raw egg yolk. Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The presence of omega-3s, fiber, and protein make chia seeds one of the best anti-inflammatory foods out there that can be used as a treatment of arthritis. Are Gluten-Free: they are beneficial for individuals suffering from celiac disease, people with celiac disease tend to consume less calcium and fiber than recommended and chia seeds, being rich in these two nutrients, can bridge the gap. Improve Sleep: There are two hormones that are essential for sleep, serotonin and melatonin. These two hormones are produced by tryptophan, an amino acid in the body. Chia seeds, being high in tryptophan, aid good sleep and relaxation.
Ways to eat chia seeds
You can soak chia seeds in water overnight as this maximizes the benefits. Soaked chia seeds turn into chia gel, which can be added to your smoothies or protein shakes as a base.
You can also grind the seeds into fine powder. You can use this method if you want to use the seeds as a thickener.
The Whole Seeds
The simplest way is to mix chia seeds in yogurt and have it for breakfast. You can also add the seeds to a smoothie.