What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, they are related to the mint and are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are black in color and they have a mild, nutty flavor. They are a whole-grain food, usually grown organically and are also non-GMO and naturally gluten free. They have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They’re easy to digest when prepared properly and is a very versatile ingredient that can be easily incorporated to recipes. I love them in my porridge and salad! If you mix some seeds with water they can replace eggs in vegan cooking.
Chia Seeds history
Back in the day chia seeds were also a very important food for the Aztecs and Mayans, they also prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy. The word “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently chia seeds became recognized as a modern-day superfood. In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health aware people all over the world.
Don’t be fooled by their size, these tiny seeds are packed with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. Chia seeds benefits are plentiful.
- They are one of nature’s high-antioxidant foods which speed up the skin’s repair systems and prevent further damage or aging
- High fiber- One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains 12 grams of carbs, 11 of those grams are fiber, which your body doesn’t digest. Fiber neither raises blood sugar nor requires insulin to be disposed of. Although it belongs to the carbohydrate family, its health effects are drastically different from those of digestible carbs like starch and sugar. The digestible carb content is only one gram per ounce (28 grams), which is very low. This makes chia seeds a low-carb friendly food. Fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestine, which is important. keeping your gut flora well fed is very crucial for your health. Chia seeds are 40% fiber by weight, making them one of the best sources of fiber in the world. A high fiber diet also reduces rick of constipation and promotes for a healthy digestive tract.
- Can help treat diabetes and several chronic deceases- High fasting blood sugar levels are a typical symptom of untreated type 2 diabetes, also consistently high fasting blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease. Temporary spikes in blood sugar levels after meals may also have harmful health effects when excessively high on a daily basis. Animal studies have found that chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, stabilizing blood sugar levels after meals. Also a few human studies support this by showing that eating bread that contains chia seeds lowers the post-meal rise in blood sugar compared to bread that doesn’t include any chia seeds.
- Chia seeds are among the top plant-based protein which helps you build muscle and lose weight. Chia seeds have a good balance of essential amino acids, so your body should be able to make use of their protein content. Protein has various health benefits and is by far the most weight loss friendly dietary nutrient. A high protein intake lowers appetite and has been shown to reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and the desire for night time snacking by 50%. Chia seeds are an excellent protein source especially for people who eat little to no animal products.
- High in nutrients which are important to bone health- Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The calcium content is particularly impressive 18% of the recommended daily intake in a single ounce (28 grams). Gram for gram, chia seeds are higher than most dairy products. As a result, chia seeds may be considered an excellent source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy or are lactose in tolerant. However, chia seeds also contain phytic acid, which reduces calcium absorption to some extent.
It is very important that you mix chia seeds with another food or liquid. DO NOT swallow dry chia seeds, because when the seeds are mixed with water or any liquid they form a thick gel.
Are you using Chia seeds? And how do you like to take them?