Benefits of Chia Seeds

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.

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The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are native to the Americas especially Mexico and Guatemala. They were a staple diet of the Aztecs and the Mayas. In the language of the Mayas, chia means strength. This is reflected in the fact that chia contains several amino acids. The chia seeds contain around twenty percent protein as well as strontium which helps to assimilate protein as well as produce high energy levels.

The original food research on chia seeds was carried out by a researcher named Wayne Coates. Coates recommends the black or white chia seeds but warns against the red seeds (immature seeds) or smaller black seeds (which he calls weed seeds).

These seeds are a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.

They are high in omega-3 oils. In fact sixty percent of their fats are omega-3 oils and they are especially high in alpha-linolenic acid. They can hence help with lowering cholesterol. Omega-3 oils are also important for brain health.

Chia seeds contain fiber which helps maintain bowel function as well as lowering cholesterol.

They also contain several antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cancer, heart disease and help fight the aging process.

The seeds contain several minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese which help control functions in the body such as healthy bones and teeth and help with maintaining normal blood pressure.

Chia contains several amino acids contributing to your protein intake and do not increase cholesterol. They are also a good vegan source of protein. One particular amino acid that is found in chia is called tryptophan – this amino acid helps to regulate your mood, your appetite and your sleep.

Chia has an effect on cholesterol levels in the blood. Chia has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) as well as triglyceride levels and also to raise HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol). These combined effects mean that chia seeds can prevent heart disease if taken regularly in the diet.

Chia seeds help to regulate blood sugar levels and hence can prevent diabetes. Chia also slows down digestion and so for this reason it is being studied as a possible treatment for non-insulin dependent diabetes.

The seeds can be used to replace eggs by mixing the seeds with water and leaving for fifteen minutes. The mixture can still be used for baking, is vegan and is high in protein. One part of chia needs to be mixed with three parts of water.

The seeds can also be added to salads, smoothies or they can be mixed into flour mixtures for making nutrient rich breads.

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