When you first hear the word chia, you may be forgiven for thinking it’s a type of dance step, but these small seeds are the reason why pets who have incorporated it into their diet have their rich, smooth coats.
However, chia is now known to be a source of several nutrients including fiber and omega-3 fats. It is remarkably easy to incorporate them into your diet.
What are chia seeds?
Well, chia seeds are tiny, but very nutritious seeds that come from a mint plant that is native to parts of Central America namely Guatemala and Mexico. We know from history also that the Aztecs considered it a very important source of food and incorporated it into their diet. In the above-mentioned Central American countries, it is active to this day.
However until recently (29 years ago to be precise) it was not known in North America until Agro-researcher, Wayne Coates began looking at the wonder seed as an alternative crop farmers in northern Argentina could grow.
Mr. Coates who began his work 29 years ago has since become a strong promoter of the healthy benefits of Chia. As is usually the case with food research, human trials are limited, but despite this, there was undeniable proof of the health benefits of this seed, which include: reducing cholesterol, leveling blood sugar, boosting energy levels, and helping the digestive process.
Chia seed Puddings
Chia seeds come in 3 forms: a black, white, or dark brown color. And they have huge nutritional benefits. They contain several nutrients like phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium and as earlier mentioned are a great source of omega-3 fats. They can be eaten whole or can be milled. Plant seeds have to be ground before eating so as to be able to get access to the health benefits.
Now both black and white seeds are okay to use, but be sure to get a good quality product. How? Avoid immature seeds (which are red in color), and also avoid smaller black seeds (these are weed seeds). You can obtain your seeds from Coates which has them for sale, however, you can get them from several health stores and supermarkets around you.
After getting the seeds, the next question is, how do you incorporate them into your diet?
The answer according to Coates is to “add it to everything”. Chia seeds have no taste, so they don’t change the taste of your meals, this makes it easier to incorporate them into your diet. You can sprinkle them on your toast, or add the milled one into your smoothie. Some folks even add them to ice cream.
10 reasons why you should add chia seeds to your diet:
Because of its ability to stabilize and slow down digestion, research is ongoing into using chia seeds as a natural treatment for diabetes, Type 2 diabetes. In addition, it can also prevent sugar spikes.
A healthy source of fiber:
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber. Imagine this: a one-ounce serving of chia has a third of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of fibers for adults. This amounts to 11 grams. And as we all know, fiber is very important for a healthy digestive system.
You get more omega-3 fats:
Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fats. A one-ounce serving has nearly 5 grams. What is the importance of these healthy fats?
They’re vital to optimum brain health. In addition, chia seeds also allow for more efficient conversion of omega-3 fats into the blood to get to where it’s needed.
Get stronger chompers and bones:
Just a single serving of this wonder seed has 18% of the RDA for calcium. With this amount, you’re on the right path to having strong bones and healthier teeth, boosting your oral health, and preventing degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.
Man up with Manganese:
This mineral though not well known is one of the most important for our health. It helps your body make better use of other essential nutrients like thiamin and biotin. Chia seeds are loaded with them. A single serving of this wonder seed has, wait for it, a whopping 30% of the RDA for this very important nutrient.
Tons of phosphorous for you:
Phosphorous along with calcium form important components of our bones and teeth. With one serving of chia seeds having a whopping 27% of the RDA, you’re covered. Apart from being part of the building blocks for bone, your body also uses it to make proteins it needs to repair itself and for growth.
Load up on protein:
Chia seeds have a lot of protein with zero cholesterol. Vegetarians will love this in particular as they can get a lot of protein into their diet by incorporating chia seeds. A 28 gram serving of these wonder seeds has nearly 10% of the RDA for protein or 4.4 grams.
Get rid of that belly fat:
An increase in insulin resistance has been tied to a direct increase in belly fat. The digestive stabilizing effects of chia seeds level off blood sugar. This combats insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is harmful to your body.
Get filled faster:
These wonder seeds have a substance called tryptophan. Tryptophan is what is responsible for your feeling sleepy after a heavy meal. It is also responsible for regulating sleep and improving your appetite and your mood.
Get a healthy heart:
Research done by Cleveland Clinic has shown chia seeds improve your cardiac health.
Specifically, they lower LDL and increase healthy cholesterol. In addition, they improve blood pressure in diabetics. All good news for your heart.