Waking up to Chia seeds?
Hi everyone this article is to get the general public to understand the benefits of chia seed, what is so good about them and what they can help with in your day to day life.
The native Indians of the southern states of America and the Axtecs of Mexico used these high nutrient content “super grain” as they have been called to enhance their endurance capabilities when out on sorties. They said that they could survive on a small helping of chia seeds per day (probably the equivalent of two to three teaspoon full of the seed with a drink of water) it was a super-nutrition for their armies. In fact Chia is still a traditional food of the Tarahumara and Chumash peoples of Chiuahua, in the southwest of Mexico. They roast, crush, and mix the Chia seeds with water to make a Gel, which they call their ‘running food’.
The whole of village of the Tarahumara people who are famous barefoot runners and use chia seed as their staple diet sometimes run unbelievable lengths of time on just this super grain. Today, chia seeds are consumed by localised groups of people. Mixed in a lemonade type drink it is made into a refreshing beverage in the Southern USA (California and Arizona) as well as in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
A member of the mint family, Salvia hispanica, is a native plant to central Mexico and Guatemala that ranges as far north as Texas, Arizona, and southern California. It grows about 3 feet (1 m) tall, with leaves alternating on opposite sides of the stem. With white or purple flowers which produce mottle-coloured white, brown, purple, or black seeds approximately 1 mm (0.04 in) in diameter.
The Aztecs used this crop not only to eat but also as a offering to their gods and pay taxes with. That is how important these super seeds where to them.
But how healthy is Chia? Is it really so good for everyone?
Chia is not just for dieters or people trying to lower cholesterol or athletes even trying to improve their endurance running. It’s for everyone who is interested in being healthier.
But what if you have a health condition, or want to prevent one?
Diabetes:Chia helps lower your blood sugar level and helps keep it balanced all day.
Diverticulitis and Colon health: with chia’s 2 types of fibre (soluble and insoluble) give you twice the benefits.
Vegetarian worried about your protein intake? Chia has complete protein content.
Chia seed is the most nutritious seed much more so than flax seeds.
It has more fibre than flax, and no plant estrogens, like soya does. It is also crammed with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help get rid of damaging free-radicals in the body so your tissues remain healthy.
Why is Chia seed a dieter’s dream food?
When the seed is exposed to liquid (water, juice etc) the soluble fibre on the outside of the seed starts to absorb the liquid (HYDRATES). Every seed can absorb more than 9 times its own weight in liquid, and hold it there. Being a gel it is more like a food than a liquid and keeps you full like a food would. The gel coating is removed slowly by the enzymes in the intestines, where it keeps you hydrated and keeps your digestive system moving efficiently. You can sprinkle them onto: breakfast cereal, yogurt, ice cream, juice, milk, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, anything really and you stay fuller for much longer, from eating much less food.
Chia seeds are Fibre rich and are processed much slower by the body. A great benefit if you’re trying to lose weight without starving yourself in the process. When your food is processed slowly, you feel “full” much quicker. Therefore you eat less at meals. The fibre fills you up, and carries out important roles in the colon. Fibre is not absorbed by the body, so will not turn into extra unwanted fat. Insoluble fibre is not digested and helps to clean and unclog the colon of unwanted waste that could have been there a while.( Just like colonic irrigation does) but cheaper.
Some of the facts about Chia seeds nutrition:-
• Magnesium – 15 times more than Broccoli
• Calcium – 6 times more than whole milk
• Omega-3 – nearly 9 times the amount found in Salmon
• Fibre – more than flax seed & 2 times more than bran flakes
• Protein -2 times the protein of any other seed or grain.
• Unlike fish, chia seeds have no cholesterol
• 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas
• 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
This super grain can give everything from a milk-shake to a bowl of cereal or a yogurt as much nutritional and protein as vegetables or meat.
Another benefit of chia seed
Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise around the world, for both young and the old. But if you don’t have it, then these miracle grains can help prevent it. If you have it already, these super seeds can help you manage it. The quicker you deal with any blood sugar malfunction, the greater your chances of success. If you lose excess weight this can help stave off diabetes. So chia seeds can help here also.
Buying chia in the UK is quite difficult just yet you can look on ebay or some health food stores are starting to stock it.
Hope this makes it a little clearer for you and helps explain a little about what these super grains can do for you. There is plenty more information out there so look it up.