If there was a food that could be considered holy, it should be the chia seeds!
Full of vitamins and minerals, these seeds help keep weight under control, reduce sugar cravings, and fight free radicals.
They have infinite benefits and really are a miracle for health!
According to Harvard, the chia seed market is projected to reach over $2 billion in sales by 2022.
One portion of 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provides 97 calories, 3.3 grams of protein, 126 milligrams of calcium, 6.9 grams of fiber, and 3.6 grams of Omega-3 essential oils (222% RDA).
Their calcium content specifically makes them an excellent option for people seeking the nutrient from a source that isn’t dairy.
They are also a rich source of iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium.
By caloric content, chia seeds are 53 percent fat, 35 percent carbohydrate, and 12 percent protein.
The leaves of chia contain an essential oil that has widdrol, germacren-B, α-humoleno, β-pinene, γ-muroleno, globulol, and β-caryophyllene.
They are derived from the plant called Hispanic sage in South America, part of the mint family, used by the Aztecs and Mayans for centuries.
There have been mentioned ever since the sixteenth century in Aztec documents – Codex Mendoza – as the most complex source of energy and power.
Chia is the Mayan word for “strength.”
In pre-historic times in Columbian societies, chia seeds were the second main crop after beans.
Today, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina are the top chia-producing countries.
Appearance & Consumption
These seeds are found in three colors (beige, brown, and black) and are easy to chew.
They can be eaten raw or lightly roasted. Also, the seeds can be processed into flour and used for the preparation of your favorite sweets.
Chia seeds have no taste, so in order to enjoy flavors, you will have to mix the seeds with other foods.
Chia seeds turn into gelatin / creamy paste when in contact with water or other liquids.
You can add them in milk with cereal, fruit and vegetable salads, sandwiches, sauces, and dressings.
Michael Roizen, MD, co-author of You Staying Young, recommends:
”Use chia seeds in foods, not as a supplement, but as an alternative to processed grains like white bread because it is a much healthier whole grain.”
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds Provide A Feeling Of Satiety
They are recommended in weight loss diets due to their almost null caloric content and their rich nutrients, which are designed to quickly install the feeling of satiety and to chase away hunger.
In other words, chia seeds nourish the body without the risk of gaining weight.
They Give Energy To The Body
Chia seeds are rightly considered allied to a strong and healthy body.
Due to the rich content of proteins, they increase the body’s energy level. Note – chia contains 18 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids.
Proteins, along with Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other nutrients, strengthen immunity and prevent disease.
Chia Seeds Prevent Diabetes
Regular consumption of chia helps regulate blood sugar levels and combat the risk of diabetes, nowadays a common disease worldwide.
The seeds are also beneficial for those who already suffer from diabetes because they have a very low glycemic index, and they favor slow digestion of foods.
A 2016 study concluded that supplementation of chia seeds may be a useful dietary addition to conventional therapy in the management of obesity in diabetes.
They Help Digestion
The “strength” seeds are the most beneficial food for the human digestive system due to their high content of fiber.
They contain both types of fiber – soluble and insoluble – which help slow the digestion of food, so it does not affect insulin levels in the body.
Note – people who have inflammatory bowel diseases, such as diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis, may need to regulate their fiber intake and limit their consumption of high fiber foods such as chia seeds.
Chia Seeds Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
One person dies every 36 seconds in the US from cardiovascular disease.
The Omega-3s in chia seeds may slightly lower blood pressure, improve endothelial function, reduce atherosclerotic plaque, and decrease total cholesterol levels.
They Help Control Sleep Disorders
Researchers found that chia contains tryptophan, an amino acid that has positive effects on sleep during the night.
Tryptophan helps relax the body and facilitates a fast entry into the specific sleep trance so that the body receives adequate rest.
Your body also uses tryptophan to make several important molecules, including melatonin and serotonin.
They Prevent Cancer
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells.
Chia seeds play a crucial role in the fight against many types of cancer. Integrated on the weekly diet, these seeds kill cancer cells and repair damaged DNA in the body.
They Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The rich concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids found in chia helps lubricate joints and maintain their suppleness.
Once inside the body, essential fatty acids turn into prostaglandin, a substance that relieves pain and inflammation.
Doctors have noticed that arthritis patients who introduced chia seeds into their diet reported less pain and uncomfortable inflammation than those who have not consumed these seeds.
READ MORE: Spiritual Meaning of Arthritis
They Help Build Muscle
Due to the fact that they give lots of energy and are rich in fiber and perfectly digestible protein, helping in tissue regeneration, the seeds are the perfect ally if you want to stay in shape and have a fit body.
Drink these seeds soaked in water before training or sports competitions, as they hydrate the body very well.
Chia Seeds Improve Brain Functions
Eating chia seeds brings a lot of benefits on an intellectual level as well.
According to experts, chia seeds make the brain membranes more sensitive.
This is likely due to their content of omega-3 ALA, which your brain uses to make DHA fatty acids – a necessity for a healthy brain function.
READ MORE: 11 Health Benefits Of Cold Showers
They Prevent Premature Aging
These seeds play an important role in maintaining the youth and naturalness of the body due to an increased content of antioxidants.
These nutrients prevent the degradation of cells in the body and help fight diseases that age the body.
However, not just the antioxidants contribute to the increased longevity of the body; the fibers that help digestion and detoxify the body are equally important for maintaining health and preventing the aging process as well.
Chia Seeds Strengthen The Bones
The seeds are rich in calcium, a crucial mineral for the health of bones.
They contain six times more calcium than milk per portion and are the basic food both for children who are growing up and need this nutrient for the development of strong bones and for women, who are prone to osteoporosis.
Regular consumption of chia seeds strengthens the bones and prevents fractures and other affections.
READ MORE: Metaphysical Meaning Behind Osteoporosis
They Detoxify The Body
Due to their detoxifying properties, chia seeds work as a natural “detergent” for your body!
Think of them like a vacuum cleaner – besides filling you with vitamins and beneficial minerals, they also “absorb” all harmful substances from the body, doing a complete cleaning of the digestive system.
READ MORE: How To Prevent Abdominal Pain
Prevention And Treating Acne
They are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids which promote wound healing like – acne wounds by protecting the layers of the skin from irritants and contaminants.
Furthermore, due to their high content of dietary fiber and protein, these amazing seeds can reduce the glycemic rating of a meal, which can offer important benefits to acne sufferers and diabetics.
READ MORE: Emotional Causes of Acne
Chia Seeds Improve Your Eyesight
The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds can help reduce dry eye syndrome and contribute to macular health.
Dr. Daphne Han, an ophthalmologist at the SMG Vision Centre at Gleneagles Medical Centre, said:
”I highly recommend omega-3 fatty acids to many patients, particularly those who have undergone Lasik and cataract surgery.”
READ MORE: Spiritual Meaning of Cataracts
Medical Daily informs that gastroenterologists in the United States warn about the consumption of dry chia seeds, as they can block in the esophagus, with the risk of suffocating the person.
It happened to a 39-year-old man, whose case was presented by Dr. Rebecca Rawl, from the Carolina Medical Center in New York, at the Annual Scientific Meeting of Gastroenterologists in the USA.
The man swallowed a spoonful of seeds with water and arrived at the ER. That’s because once they get into the water, chia seeds expand quickly, absorbing an amount 27 times greater than their dry state weight.
Therefore, they may block the esophagus, especially if there is a predisposition to deglutition problems.
In the case of this man, the situation became downright complicated, so doctors had to resort to using an endoscope, normally used in infants, to help the seeds pass through the digestive tract.
Although this is the first medical case of this kind, Dr. Rawl warns about the danger of dry seed consumption.
For the safety of the consumers, she recommends mixing the seeds with a sufficient amount of fluids for them to expand before eating.
Symptoms of chia seed allergy may include watery eyes, itching of the lips, and rashes.
”Chia seeds are in the mint family, so people with known allergies to mint, sesame, or mustard seeds should be cautious about trying chia seeds,” said certified nutrition specialist Erica Zellner.
Images credit – Getty Images
READ THIS NEXT: Flax vs Chia: Which Seeds Are Better?