Chia seeds have gained popularity over the past few years in the health food market, but after simply recognizing their name or hearing about them on Dr. Oz, many don’t truly know what they are or what benefits they hold. Chia seeds naturally have powerful nutrients that are strongly beneficial to your health, and their traits should be more widely known so that as many people as possible can benefit from their healthy qualities.
To start, WHAT IS CHIA?
Chia is the edible seed from a desert plant that’s been consumed as far back as the Mayans and Aztecs. Researchers have stated that these cultures used them for energy boosters, because the seeds are a pure food containing healthy carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium.
More specifically, regarding OMEGA-3’S:
Among the nutrients’ plant-based sources, chia seeds are one of the richest, being composed of about 60% of omega-3’s. Therefore, the seeds can improve cognitive function, and help reduce cholesterol and inflammation.
Next, regarding ANTIOXIDANTS:
The richness of antioxidants in chia seeds help your body fight against diseases and infections, and a 2 tablespoon serving of the seeds has staggering percentages of your recommended daily intake of various vitamins and minerals. For instance, in that serving amount, you receive 18% of your recommended daily calcium, 35% of phosphorus, 24% of magnesium, and 50% of manganese. These super-nutrients help in fighting high blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight.
In terms of FIBER:
Chia seeds have about 10g of fiber in a 2 tablespoon serving. Having a diet with adequate fiber can also help reduce inflammation, and it can grant strong intestinal health, help lower cholesterol, and can also help with over-eating because fiber helps keep you fuller longer.
In addition to their fiber and protein content, the seeds also help with keeping you full due to their gelatinous quality that occurs when they combine with liquid. They mix with liquid to become thicker, thus making you feel more satiated.
Adding a teaspoon or so of chia seeds to Greek yogurt, cereal, smoothies, salads, oatmeal, etc., adds an excellent nutritional boost to your meal or snack, without changing the actual taste of your food. The seeds also have no gluten, so they fit well into gluten-free diets if that’s what you follow.
The strange stigma of chia seeds being another weird health-food fad should be diminished because as you can see, the massive health benefits of these tiny seeds are positive to anyone’s diet and overall well-being. You can find chia seeds in health food stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, but they’re also easily found online.