Where Do They Come From?
Chia Seed plant grows natively in South America. Back in the days,this seed was an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans . “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”
This seed only recently did become recognized as a modern day super food and is used all over the world.
They are full of with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain.
Here are some health benefits that chia seeds provides and are supported by human studies.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 g are Omega 3).
- Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micro nutrients.
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants that help to protect the delicate fats in the seeds. They also have various benefits for health.
Almost all of the carbohydrates in chia seeds are fiber. This gives them the ability to absorb 10-12 times their weight in water. Fiber also has various beneficial effects on health.
Chia seeds contain a pretty decent amount of protein.
By weight, they are about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants.
Chia seeds really are an excellent source of protein,especially for people who eat little or no animal products.
Many health experts believe that chia seeds can help with weight loss.
The fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food (15).
There have been several studies on glucomannan,a fiber that works in a similar way, showing that it can lead to weight loss (16, 17). Then the protein in chia seeds could help to reduce appetite and food intake.
High In Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
Like flax seeds, chia seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon.
Chia seeds may improve certain blood markers, which should lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Given that chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and Omega-3s, they should be able to improve metabolic health.
Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.
The calcium content is particularly impressive,it is 18% of the RDA in a single ounce.
Can Help In Diabetes Type 2
The most successful application of chia seeds to date was in a study on type 2 diabetic patients.
In this study, 20 diabetic patients received either 37 grams of chia seeds, or 37 grams of wheat bran, for 12 weeks (27).
Given that chia seeds are high in fiber, it does seem plausible that they could help reduce blood sugar peaks and it is still working on this study.
Can Improve Exercise Performance
According to some studies, chia seeds can help athletes “carb load” for endurance events, while increasing their intake of nutrients and decreasing their intake of sugars.
Chia Seeds In Your Diet
Chia seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet.
The seeds themselves taste rather bland, so you can add them to pretty much anything.
They can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to porridges and puddings, or added to baked goods.
You can also sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables or rice dishes. They can also be mixed with water and turn into a gel.
Adding chia seeds to your recipes will dramatically boost the nutritional value of all your meals and can help your diet plan to work.