Fact: Chia is hydrophilic and can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. This makes it helpful in maintaining body hydration, something that is especially beneficial for athletes who need to remain hydrated during races and endurance activities
Chia seeds come from the Chia plant, a small flowering herb that grows annually. Chia seeds, scientifically called as Salvia hispanica, flourish best in fertile sandy soil and can reach up to a meter and have green-colored leaves with saw-toothed margin. It is considered by most food expert as an ultimate food grain.
These oil-seeds are small and oblong in shape. They are rich in calories primarily coming from the poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUF) and were used as staple food by the primeval Aztecs and is cultivated largely by the Mexicans.
The tiny, oblong shaped oil-seeds are believed by most nutrition expert to be very useful because of its arsenal of nutritional contents. It is a very good source of dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals like omega 3 fatty acids such as alpha-linoleic acid, and antioxidants in proportional amount enough for the human body to utilize. Just enough tablespoons of Chia seeds can provide the recommended daily allowance of protein and phenolic acid.
Alpha-linoleic (ALA), a very essential omega-3 fatty acid found in Chia seeds is good in lowering the risk of high blood pressure through its anti-inflammatory benefits. The Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthier fats, which is ideal for brain health and that of the heart, which is why it is recommended to prevent Coronary Artery Disease.
Chia seeds are a good source of important minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, and Manganese which greatly helps in enzyme synthesis, bone mineralization, production of erythropoietin or red blood cells and regulation of skeletal and cardiac muscle activities.
Vitamins found in chia seeds are folic acid, thiamin (Vit. B 1), Riboflavin (Vit. B 2), and niacin (Vit. B 3). Niacin, in particular, which helps reduce bad cholesterol in the blood is twice higher in Chia seeds compared to sesame seeds.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants such as quercetin, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid that help in detoxifying the body. Our bodies need antioxidants to help fight the effects of the harmful oxygen-free radicals, which damage or destroy the cells.
Known to be having a very low glycemic index that greatly helps in proper blood glucose level regulation, Chia seeds are good rice or cereal substitutes for people.
Chia seeds outer part are made of a mucilage which are soluble in water and is a non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) and can swell up and becomes gel-like. This mucilage is good for digestion and promotes good bowel movement.
With all these nutritional benefits, there is no reason why you should not put Chia seeds in your cookies, milkshakes, overnight oats, and smoothies. Yum!
The Important Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Boosts Energy Levels
Chia seeds contain energy boosting vitamins and minerals particularly fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and fats. This is named “Chia” by the Malayans which specifically means energy. Health experts attest that eating a small amount of this plant can keep you going for 24 hours. If you are looking for an instant and effective energy booster, you can pop-up even a small amount of chia seeds to make you feel alive for hours. This will make you more productive and efficient at work, at school, or in any activities you engage in.
Stabilizes Heart Condition
Chia seeds have effective heart stabilizing effects because of its ability to slow down the digestion of complex carbohydrates. Aside from that, this seed contains fiber that helps in lowering the blood sugar levels. Various studies proved that consumption of chia seeds achieve the normal density of blood and its flow’s optimal pressure. This will reduce risks of high blood pressure and blood clots that can lead to stroke or worst heart attack.
Ageing is inevitable. Time will come that we eventually grow old and it will show in our physical appearance as well as in our overall health. Because of antioxidants containing in chia seeds, its consumption discourages development of free radicals. Free radicals primarily cause the deterioration of our body organs and parts’ malfunctions. Its antioxidants, specifically polyphenols, are able to protect and repair the entirety of the body so that ageing is slowed down. This will also not only benefit the inside of the body but the outside as well. Consumption of chia seeds will make you look beautiful, glowing, and healthy not only on the outside but from the inside as well.
Chia seeds are remarkably rich in fiber. An ounce of chia seeds provide the body up to 11 grams which will suffice the daily fiber demand of the body. Fiber is very essential in regulating digestion. It plays an integral role for the optimal functioning of the digestive system. It assures the breakdown of food intake, the orderly movement of digested food in the digestive tract, and the regularity of bowel activities.
It has been proven that chia seeds are able to reduce cholesterol levels in an acceptably normal level, can lower blood pressure, as well as prevent oxidative stress that causes atherosclerosis. These characteristics of chia seed consumption make it a very healthy food for the heart. Excessive amounts of cholesterol especially LDL type, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis can lead to heart ailments and maximize the possibility of malfunction. These activities can trigger various heart ailment or worst heart attack.
Intake of chia seeds has alpha-linolenic acid and fiber that both help discourage as well as remedy diabetes. It has been shown that eating this seed can reduce triglyceride and blood glucose levels in the body. Excessive glucose levels in the blood primarily cause diabetes. Chia seed’s richness in antioxidants also optimizes the body’s resistance to insulin. The more sensitive the body is to insulin, the greater chance of developing diabetes. If you are highly exposed to diabetes because of family’s medical history or just because of unhealthy lifestyle adding plum to your diet will make a huge difference to your health.
Strengthens the Bones
Chia seeds also contain calcium. Calcium is the primary mineral that supports and makes the bones stronger and healthier. It has been found that an ounce of this seeds can amount up to 20% of the daily calcium requirement of the body. Sufficient intake of foods rich in fiber can improve bone’s density, mass and strength. This will result to lower risks of bone fractures, osteoporosis, bone loss, and other bone disorders. On top of calcium chia seeds also have boron that contributes to the health of your bones. Boron acts as an agent for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese’s metabolism for the optimal condition of the bones.
Promotes Dental Health
Chia seeds are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients that are very helpful to your dental health. It contains high amounts of phosphorus, calcium, zinc, and vitamin A that will not only make your teeth beautiful but healthy and strong as well. Calcium is primarily responsible for the strength of your teeth. Zinc fights of bacteria build-up in the mouth as well as prevents development of plaque in the teeth. It is important to keep off bacteria in the mouth because it can lead to infections, bad breath, and cavities. Lastly, Vitamin A and phosphorus supports the other minerals in keeping the mouth clean and healthy.