In spite of their small size, chia seeds are packed with essential nutrients, making them one of the healthiest foods on the planet. These seeds are popularly known as a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, protein, minerals, and vitamins, which is why they are regarded as a superfood easy to include in your everyday diet.
Ancient cultures throughout Central America have long enjoyed chia seeds as a key part of their food and medicine. Chia seeds were a staple in Aztec and Mayan diets in pre-Columbian times and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. In fact, ‘chia’ is the Maya word for ‘strength.’ The Aztecs were familiar with the medicinal properties of chia and used it to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.
Chia seeds improve digestion, strengthen the body, and they also help rejuvenate skin and burn body fat. Their consumption is strongly recommended by nutritionists for people with very low energy levels and those who feel general weakness in their body. Owing to their ability to strengthen the body and provide energy, they are commonly consumed by athletes.
Moreover, chia seeds contain 37% nutritional fibers that help boost the work of your intestines, thereby a chia seed based diet would be an excellent colon cancer prevention.
The following are some of the reasons why chia seeds should be consumed regularly:
- They have powerful antioxidant properties and contain four times more antioxidants than blueberries.
- Chia seeds contain three times more iron than spinach.
- Help sustain healthy skin, hair and nails.
- They are rich in protein, containing 20% of it.
- Owing to their 20% of omega 3 fatty acids, which is eight times more than that of salmon, chia seeds are considered as one of the most powerful foods for brain and heart health.
- Chia seeds help in the treatment of various digestive problems owing to their high fiber content.
- They can be used as a substitute for eggs; just mix some chia seeds with water to form a gel-like paste and use them in recipes.
- They are gluten-free.
- They also have a higher vitamin C content than oranges do – even 7 times more.
- Since chia seeds help control glucose levels in the blood, they are great for diabetics as well.
- They have 8 types of amino acids.
- They contain five times more calcium than milk, which is important for maintaining bone and oral health, as well as for preventing osteoporosis.
- They contain twice more potassium than bananas.
- One serving of chia seeds has 30 percent of the recommended intake of manganese, an important nutrient which is good for your bones and aids in the metabolism of other essential nutrients such as thiamin and biotin.
- Chia seeds help increase healthy cholesterol levels, while reducing bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride cholesterol.
As experts advise, a tablespoon of chia seeds per day is just enough to reap its benefits. You should also make sure to drink plenty of water when consuming these seeds as they are very rich in fiber.
Chia seeds have pleasant and mild taste, making them suitable for both sweet and salty meals. Add them to your smoothies, sprinkle some of them over a bowl of salad, or simply add them to your bread or muffin dough.
Chia seeds should be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes prior to consumption. This will make them grow in size, resulting in even 20 times bigger seeds. They are also great for keeping one satiated for a longer time.
Chia seeds can also be combined with almonds, pineapple, or coconut oil, to make a delicious treat.
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