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Chia Seeds

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Chia Seeds have long been a part of human consumption. Both the Mayans and Aztecs of ancient history considered the chia seed to be a superfood. Chia seeds have a low caloric count yet is rich in minerals and fiber. It is a popular addition to puddings, yogurts, oatmeal, and flavored waters and is thought to help curb the appetite making it a top choice for individuals wanting to lose weight.

Health Benefits

  1. Rich In Antioxidants: Chia is a food that ranks at the top of the health food list for the number of antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants protect the body in many ways. They help rid the body of free radicals and promote healthy cells and tissue. This has a direct positive effect on the body as a whole, helping protect the skin cells and prevent premature aging and antioxidants also protect against cancer by reducing damage caused by oxidative stress.
  2. Balance Blood Sugar: When blood sugar levels are normal, then energy levels are more regulated. The ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) along with the fiber content found in chia seeds promote healthy blood sugar levels and fight against insulin resistance, which causes diabetes.
  3. Boosts Energy Levels: Chia seeds contain a good amount of carbohydrates as well as protein and fiber, all of which help to boost energy levels. Athletes frequently practice what is referred to as carb-loading, which helps to maintain the glycogen storage in the liver and muscles. This process not only optimizes energy levels but it also improves endurance, making the chia seed a preferred replacement of sugar-laden energy drinks.
  4. Improves Bone Density: Chia seeds contain manganese and calcium, both of which help increase bone density as well as bone strength. Proper amounts of manganese along with other essential minerals and vitamins help support the body in preventing osteoporosis. Also, with healthy levels of manganese are present the bones’ ability to absorb crucial nutrients improves which helps decrease bone disorders.

About the Chia

The chia is the seed of the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint plant family. The plant is native to Central America and is now cultivated commercially in Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the northern U.S.

Evidence found by historians indicates that the Aztecs of the 16th century highly regarded the chia seed and even used it for payment to the Aztec priesthood.

The chia seed is hydrophilic, meaning that it can absorb up to twelve times their weight in liquid. Because of this marathon runners have used the chia seed as both a food and water source to prevent dehydration. As the chia seed absorbs liquid it develops a mucilaginous coating which gives it a gel-like texture, making it a healthy replacement for dairy creams.

Research is still being conducted in regards to the benefits of the chia seed.

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