A Teeny Seed With Huge Benefits
Mostly everyone on the planet knows the name Chia from the famous “Chia pets” — a holiday gifting favorite. I know you are singing the tune right now “cha-cha-cha Chia pet….”
But seriously, what most people DON’T know is that Chia Seeds are an ancient super food with lots of anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Due to its high oil content, Chia is the richest vegetable source of pure, unprocessed Omega-3 fatty acid, and also contains two times the protein of other grains and more calcium than milk!
What is Chia Seed (Salvia Hispanica)?
Chia is a member of the mint family and is a native plant to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia was prized as an endurance super food by ancient Aztec warriors, and was traditionally taken by warriors before entering battle. Chia was also known by the Ancient Aztecs as the “running food,” and was taken as a super food during extremely long endurance runs.
Because of the amazing benefits of this mini super food,
Chia made it onto Dr. Oz’s Anti-Aging Checklist! Dr. Oz says,
“They just may be one of the healthiest things around.”
7 Great reasons to incorporate Chia into your Diet:
- They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, helping to protect your body from arthritis and heart disease, and actually contain more Omega-3 than salmon.
- They can help with weight loss. Due to its high fiber content the seed absorbs more than 12 times its weight in water. When Chia is left standing in water, it forms a thick gel. This gel that is formed helps you feel full faster, and therefore you eat less!
- They help reduce food cravings because they prevent some of the food you eat from getting absorbed into your system.
- The ability of the seed to hold onto water also helps the body with hydration. Maintaining prolonged hydration helps with the body’s electrolyte balance.
- The soluble fiber of the gel slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and helps to eliminate waste and toxins from the digestive system.
- The soluble fiber of the gel is also responsible for creating the endurance effect from Chia. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thereby slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This releases sugar into the blood stream more slowly, creating the endurance effect because more carbohydrate is available for a longer period of time for the body to use for energy.
- Chia also benefits diabetics because of their ability to help control blood sugar by slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates into simple sugars.
How to Use Chia Seeds in your diet:
- You can make “Chia Fresca” by soaking Chia in fruit juice or by soaking the seeds in water and adding fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice and some Stevia to taste.
- The seeds can be eaten raw and have nice nutty, crunchy flavor. You can just munch on a handful of seeds.
- They can be used in recipes for breads.
- You can sprinkle some on your salad, in yogurt or on cereal.
- You can mix one teaspoon of Chia in 2 oz of water and use as an egg substitute.