What are the benefits of Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds may just look like your everyday seed, but don’t let appearances deceive you. Packed full of nutritional goodness, various chia seed benefits have seen this small seed become the latest sought-after “Superfood”.
Chia foods are by no means a new thing, in fact this nutritious seed goes as far back as the Aztec warriors who would eat the seeds as part of their battle preparations. Chia health benefits are documented as far back as the Indians, who supposedly survived many a forced march, which were usually 24-hours long, on just one small teaspoon of the seeds. The Chia seed, no doubt, have the Indians to thank for being dubbed as “running food”, although there are many other chia seed benefits too.
Whether you want to improve your stamina in the gym or simply have some extra get-up-and-go for your work day, this amazing superfood has a perfect blend of nutrients to give you it. Packed full of carbohydrates, the seeds can absorb up to ten times their own weight in liquid. Due to this super-absorbency, these seeds have little to no effect on a person’s blood sugar. This is what prevents the carbohydrates, which chia are packed full of, from being broken down quickly by the body. This not only prevents a person experiencing the jitters of a sugar crash, it also helps to sustain a good energy level to help get you through the day.
One of the most popular chia food benefits is the fact they can help a person to lose weight. Again this has much to do with the seeds absorbency and nutrients. Carbohydrates in the seeds are absorbed slowly, this is due to the seed expanding in the stomach, and so does the soluble fibre that lies around the seeds’ outer layer. This not only helps to suppress a person’s appetite, it also helps stabilize the blood sugar for longer. A 2009 clinical trial focusing on chia food benefits found that the middle dose of seeds is enough to reduce a person’s appetite anywhere up to 47-percent. Individuals given the larger recommended dose of chia seeds experienced at least a 33-percent reduction in their glucose level. Interestingly, for the study the chia products were used in white refined bread, which is often too linked to weight gain and blood sugar imbalance.
It can be hard to figure out how much calcium you are getting and, most importantly, if you are getting enough. If you are not a big lover of milk, chia seed products could well be your answer as they actually contain more calcium than milk does. Add to this the fact the seeds enhance the absorption of the calcium and it is fair to say this is one of the major chia health benefits. The calcium in chia seeds is much easier to digest than that in milk, making the seeds an ideal alternative to those people suffering from lactose intolerance.
Mental Health and Brain Power
Omega 3 has long been touted as natural “brain food”. However, what is less publicized is the positive affects Omega 3 and 6 has on individuals suffering from mental health conditions such as, depression. Chia food products support a person’s nervous system, which affects a person’s brain function. Improved brain function leads to a better transmission of the nerves, which leads to an improvement of a person’s mood. However, chia seed benefits do not stop at improving brain power and mood. Essential fatty acid found in the seeds has been linked with improving and maintaining, liver function, cholesterol, joints, stabilizing blood sugar levels and cognitive function.
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry completed studies that linked chia seeds to building insulin intolerance, as well as helping to prevent heart and liver diseases. Chia superfoods make a great supplement, especially if your lifestyle means you are not always getting the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals. It is said that chia seeds contain more flax seed and Omega 3 oil than salmon, so it makes a great substitute for those who do not like eating oily fish.
If you’re vegan or gluten intolerant, Chia can also be a great source of protein. According to nutritionists, these amazing superfoods contain more protein than other grain alternatives. If you are looking to build muscle and need to increase your daily intake of protein, chia superfoods are the best choice when you also consider the other benefits associated with them.
Chia food benefits also cross over into other medical areas. Because the seeds are gluten-free, people with conditions such as Chrohns disease and gluten intolerance and celiac disease will be able to take them with no adverse side-effects. Various studies have also proven that people with various nut allergies had no serious side effects from taking the seeds.
These amazing seeds are such little powerhouses, that there is way too much to cover in this one short article! I have been writing many more detailed articles about chia, and also making some cool little videos showing you how to prepare the seeds, and the best ways to use them in your diet!
Roxanne Rodrigues is a young, free spirited individual who has amassed a wealth of information about nutrition and raw foods. To learn more about the Chia Seeds Benefits and also how to use them to their best effect, you can see further articles and videos by Roxanne at ChiaSeeds.co.uk