Chia seeds are truly an amazing natural whole grain super food with many health benefits. It is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more than flax seeds. Its rich nutritional profile makes it a valuable addition to any diet, including vegetarians and vegans. Let’s examine some of this healthy benefits and why you just might want to add them to your diet.
Chia seeds are an ancient super food that were harvested by the Aztecs and Mayans. These legendary little seeds were so admired that it was included in yearly tributes to the elite priests and ruling class. To this day runners, athletes and those that are survivalists consider chia seeds a substantial part of their diet.
Chia seeds are not only beneficial for diabetics, they are heart healthy, believed to help maintain a healthy colon, aid in weight loss, and benefit the fetus during pregnancy.
Health benefits of Chia continue to emerge through research. According to a study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” in January, 2009 found that chia seeds fed to rats normalized insulin resistance and reduced fat and cholesterol in their blood even though they were fed a high-sucrose diet. Another important study published in 2007 in the journal “Diabetes Care” found that chia improved “major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes” in 20 men and women.
WOW What Health Benefits!
- Chia seeds are a powerhouse of rich antioxidants that help prevent free-radical damage in your body and premature aging.
- Chia seeds don’t deteriorate, does not have to be refrigerated, and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.
- Chia seeds do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to body.
- Chia seed is gluten-free, great for those with gluten allergies and sensitivities.
- Chia is easily digested and they absorb more than 9 times their weight in water.
- Chia percent of Omega-3 essential fatty acid is highest natural percent known to man
- Chia seeds also are rich in the beneficial long-chain triglycerides that help maintain the proper wall flexibility of cells and restore the proper cholesterol / triglyceride ratio. Your body converts the alpha-linolenic Omega-3 of chia into DHA and EPA fatty acids like those found in fish oil. With all the Omega-3 fatty acids you don’t have to worry about eating fish and the mercury that has become a big concern for all of us.
- Chia has complete protein — 19 to 23% protein. Only 1 ounce provides 1/10 of DV of protein.
- Chia is extremely high iron and actually has 3 times more than spinach (Maybe Popeye should have been eating Chia seeds)
- Chia seeds contain around 18 percent of DV in only 1 ounce (6 times more calcium than milk by weight) and chia’s calcium is more readily absorbed by the body than milk.
- Contains many excellent sources of minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper.
- Chia has 15 times more magnesium than broccoli.
- Chia seeds are high fiber and low in carbohydrates.
Just take a look at CHIA SEED NUTRITION !
|NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION – CHIA SEEDS|
|Avg qnty per 100 g||Australian-grown seeds||South American seeds|
|Energy||1960 kj||1553 kj|
|Cholesterol||<1.0 g||<1.0 g|
|Sodium||<1.0 g||<1.0 g|
|Fat, total||31.4 g||31.5 g|
|Saturated||3.1 g||3.2 g|
|Trans-Fatty Acid||0.1 g||0 mg|
|Omega 3 ALA||17.5 g||19.8 g|
|Omega 6 LA||7.1 g||5.8 g|
|Omega 9||3.3 g||(not tested)|
|Monounsaturated||1.9 g||2.5 g|
|Protein||15.6 g||21.1 g|
|Carbohydrate, total||43.6 g||42.1 g|
|Sugars||<1.0 g||<1.0 g|
|Fibre||36.0 g||41.2 g|
|Cobalamin (vit. B12)||90 ng||(not tested)|
|Calcium||500 mg||556 mg|
|Phosphorus||600 mg||750 mg|
|Magnesium||290 mg||326 mg|
|Potassium||500 mg||666 mg|
|Iron||6.5 mg||6.27 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||(not tested)||5.97 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.12 mg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.21 mg|
Some more interesting information about Chia Seeds:
- The outer part of the seed protects it from drying out because it is a very rich soluble fiber and has a great water-retaining ability. Research has found — When the seeds are mixed with water and eaten they form a gel like substance in the stomach which slowly release carbohydrates and slow conversion of carbs into glucose (blood sugar) for energy. This unique water-retaining ability of the chia seeds gel helps level out the water intake and retains electrolyte balance.
- This gel forms a physical barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. The carbohydrates are digested eventually, but at a slow and steady rate. No insulin surge or spike needed to lower the blood sugar level after eating chia and by balancing your blood sugar you not only lower you’re risk for type 2 diabetes, but you also have constant energy throughout the day.
- Chia seeds are a dieters best friend! Their unique gelling action that keeps you feelings full and is actually just water – so no added calories!
- Chia seeds lowers your risks of digestive problems such as diverticulitis because of the high fiber content of soluble and insoluble fiber. These little seeds keeps things moving smoothly through your digestive system and keeps the colon hydrated.
Chia seeds have so many health benefits, always safe, chemical free, are so economical, easy to add to any recipe with no extra preparations required, and believe it or not no pesticides are used to grow them. So whether you are dieting and trying to lose a few pounds to fit into that bathing suit for the summer or just looking to stay healthy and live a green lifestyle — chia seeds are a great addition to your diet. Put some in the kid’s pudding or add them to your salad – the whole family can benefit from Chia seeds.