Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They are easy to digest when prepared properly, and are a very versatile ingredient that adds easily to recipes.
The chia seed is nutrient dense and packs a punch of energy boosting power. Not only that, but recent research has found that the chia seed benefits are even greater than we realized. Now they have even been linked to healing diabetes.

Chia seeds look similar to sesame seeds. They are very small and dark. This plant has been known to humans for a very long time. The chia plant had been cultivated by the Aztecs, Mayans, Incans and other tribes for a very long time. It was a staple food for them and historians considered it an important plant and food source for Native Americans. With the fall of the Aztecs and the general decline in the native population in the North American region, the use of chia seeds also declined.

Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They said just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs.

The little seed — which comes in either white or a dark brown and black colour — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled.
Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants and full of fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium.

Chia seeds impart many health benefits, some of which include controlling diabetes, lowering cholesterol levels, improving the digestive system, boosting heart health, controlling hypertension, and they even contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Digestive Health (Chia Seeds)

Chia is super-high in fiber, providing nearly 11 grams per ounce. One serving can provide the recommended fiber intake for the day, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Fiber is essential for your body’s ability to balance insulin levels. According to the
Being high in dietary fiber, chia helps promote bowel regularity and healthy stool. The rich fiber content in chia seeds also helps people feel more full quicker because it absorbs a considerable amount of water and immediately expands in the stomach when eaten. This may explain why clinical studies have proven that chia curbs hunger and suppresses appetite, which can also lead to weight loss.
Also when consumed, chia seeds create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in chia seeds and it can work as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in the gut.

Heart Health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol.

Chia seeds’ ability to reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure make it extremely beneficial to consume for heart health. Also, by reversing oxidative stress, someone is less likely to develop atherosclerosis when they’re regularly consuming chia seeds.

And Chia seeds are high in linoleic, a fatty acid which helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. For such a tiny seed, chia is quite high in healthy fats boasting more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega-3’s work to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and inflammation. Inflammation can put strain on blood vessels and cause heart disease. So by eating chia seeds you can boost and protect your heart!

Treating diverticulosis

High fiber diets have been shown to decrease the prevalence in flare-ups of diverticulitis by absorbing water in the colon and making bowel movements easier to pass. Eating a healthful, fruit and vegetable and fiber-filled diet can reduce pressure and inflammation in the colon. Although the cause of diverticular disease is still unknown, it has been repeatedly associated with a low fiber diet.

Diabetes

High fiber diets are associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes and eating high fiber meals to keep blood sugar stable.
Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.

The starches and carbohydrates present in chia seeds are released slowly in comparison to conventional diets and are therefore ideal for diabetics as blood sugar level would not surge soon after having meals. A slower release of sugars into the blood stream can aid in optimum absorption of these sugars by each of the cells in the body. Hence, it is believed that the need for insulin diminishes.

chia seeds - value

Digestive Health

Chia is super-high in fiber, providing nearly 11 grams per ounce. One serving can provide the recommended fiber intake for the day.

Fiber is essential for your body’s ability to balance insulin levels. Seeds like flax and chia can be a natural blood sugar balancer due to it’s high fiber content and healthy fats.

Being high in dietary fiber, chia helps promote bowel regularity and healthy stool. The rich fiber content in chia seeds also helps people feel more full quicker because it absorbs a considerable amount of water and immediately expands in the stomach when eaten. This may explain why clinical studies have proven that chia curbs hunger and suppresses appetite. Which can also lead to weight loss.

Also when consumed, chia seeds create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in chia seeds and it can work as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in the gut.

Cholesterol

Chia seeds are known to be a big source of alpha linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are indispensible for good health because they significantly reduce cholesterol levels. Studies show that chia seed consumption increased HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol levels but decreased the total cholesterol levels.

Build Muscle & Lose Weight

Chia seeds also rank among the top plant based sources of protein. This is another reason this super seed is great to consume for those trying to put on lean muscle, burn fat, and balance blood sugar levels.

Chia seeds pack a powerful antioxidant punch to help replace some of those nutrients lost when exercising. They’re high in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and niacin.

One of the characteristics that make chia so unique is that it can absorb up to 10X its own weight in water. Because of this, chia seeds can prolong hydration and improve nutrient absorption of electrolytes. This also slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer reducing sugar cravings.

And because chia seeds are also high in zinc, they help your body increase leptin. Leptin is a key hormone that regulates your bodies appetite. How your body spends energy and regulates how your energy levels! It also improves stamina and endurance. Making chia a great source of nutrition if you are looking to get in shape.