Why You Need to Add Chia Seeds to your diet.
Today I’d like to tell you a bit more about chia seeds, their nutritional benefits and medicinal reasons to include into your diet.
Let’s Get Started!
Chia seeds are everywhere today. Whether you are trying to make oatmeal or mousse you can easily find recipes recommending to incorporate this seed.
The first facts I’ve learned about Chia seeds included:
- High in omega 3 fatty acids
- Great source of fiber keeping you full faster
- Full of magnesium and phosphorus
- Helps to maintain healthy teeth
- Contains a high amount of protein
It was time to dig a little deeper
As the name of the plant suggests, Salvia hispanica initially comes Mexico and Guatemala, and was quite an important crop for Aztecs. The plant is a member of Mint family.
It was pretty much unknown here in the US until about 30 years ago when the Northwestern Argentina Regional Project popularized the seeds.
There are typically three varieties you can find today — black, dark brown or white.
Most of the times black or white are sold in the supermarkets. You can eat the seeds whole or milled.
In my explorations I confirmed that these super seeds have quite a bit of nutrition in them — antioxidants(LINK TO FREE RADICALS POST), fatty acids, protein and more.
Most researched uses of Chia seeds
The following are three most common medicinal uses of these super seeds.
1. Blood sugar control and diabetes
Chia seeds help to maintain good blood sugar control in healthy individuals and also in overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes.
Chia seeds when compared with other fiber (for example, flax seeds) seems to do better in terms of blood sugar maintenance after meals.
2. Weight loss
Patients who used chia seeds and other types of soluble fiber did better in terms of satiety and weight loss.
Patients that consumed chia seeds for 12 weeks had greater reduction in weight and waist circumference.
3. Improvement in lipid profile
It’s possible that chia seeds benefits in controlling blood sugar are the explanation to improvement in blood pressure, coagulation and inflammatory state in patients.
Additional Benefits of Chia seeds
As stated before these seeds are great antioxidants (which help fight off free radicals) that therefore lead into maintaining healthy skin and preventing further damage.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning concluded that consuming these seeds enhanced exercise performance for workouts.
Since chia seeds are also a great source of calcium it results in maintaining healthy and strong bone growth
Some Interesting findings
Recent research suggests that the seed oil applied topically can help with rashes in patients with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Compounds from Chia seeds seem to enhance the work of cytotoxic agents used for treating breast cancer.
Chia recipes to try
- From one of funniest girls in health and wellness business, Talia Pollock — here’s a simple recipe of chia pudding
- Check out this granola recipe from Curry Girls Kitchen incorporating all the ingredients above or their chia seed bowl
- Explore Dr. Aviva Romm’s Smoothie Genie for endless number of smoothie recipes, many include chia seeds