Benefits of the Chia Seed
My mom is constantly trying new things in the healthy food department. After trying the canary grass seed (which she still uses, and is totally in love with), she decided to give a try to her new find: the chia seed. She has been using it for a while now, and has been so in love with it, that she introduced the whole family to this wonderful seed. Now we all drink chia seed! (Click here for the recipe of chia seed beverage) And now we are all in love with it! Let me tell you why.
Chia has so many properties that it has could be considered a complete meal in itself. The FDA considers the chia seed as a dietary supplement. Chia seed also meets all the FDA's regulations on nutrient content to be considered a "healthy food."
One of the major reasons why some people consume chia is because of its high Omega -3 content. Two thirds of the oil found in the chia seed are Omega-3.
Chia seed also provides the body with antioxidants, fiber, proteins, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper.
Equally important is the fact that chia seed is gluten free, which is great for those with celiac disease.
CHIA SEED BENEFITS
Before I jump into the many benefits of the chia seed, let me tell you one of the wonderful characteristics of chia: it is tasteless! Unlike many healthy foods that remind you with its horrible taste that you are eating "healthy", with chia you won't even notice you are eating it. This means you can add it to pretty much any food or drink without altering its taste ir smell.
Helps lower cholesterol
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the human body to work normally. These fatty acids are especially important for those who are trying to lower their cholesterol and tryglecirides levels. Chia seed contains Omega-3 in abundance.
Helps you lose weight by suppressing appetite
One of the Chia properties is that, when placed in liquid, it expands forming a gel-like substance. This gelatinous substance, called mucilage, tricks your body into feeling full, thus reducing your appetite and your desire to keep eating. Because mucilage is made up of water, it keeps your body full without adding any calories.
Balance blood sugar levels
Healthy blood sugar levels are important to keep your body energized throughout the day. However, if your meals are high in starches and carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels can increase dramatically, leaving you feeling drowsy and sluggish. However, the mucilage of the chia seed, along with its high fiber content (soluble and non soluble), help the body to slow down the conversion of starches into sugars. That is why eating chia seed with your meals will help you turn your food into a stable flow of energy throughout the day.
Helps prevent premature wrinkling
Chia seed is high in antioxidants and antioxidants help prevent the damage that free radicals cause in the body and skin, such as premature wrinkling and inflation of body tissues. The levels of antioxidants in chia seed are so high that this seed can stay fresh and ready to eat for up to 2 years without preservatives of any kind.
Bake with less fat
Many baked goodies require a lot of butter or oil. However, the gelatinous substance of the chia seed can substitute half of the butter or oil used. The only thing you have to do is use half of the butter (or oil) needed for the recipe, and substitute the other half with the mucilage formed from the chia seed. This is useful in most recipes, such as cookies, waffles and bread.
Chia seed is also great for regulating bowel movements. If you are constantly constipated, it will work as a mild laxative. If you have diarrhea, chia seed will help your stool become more solid.
Because of its many properties and nutritional content, the constant consumption of chia seed can boost your immune system.
Helps with the gestation and lactation periods, helping with the visual and neurological development of the fetus.
Is it expensive?
Chia seeds are super easy to find, I haven't seen a health store that doesn't carry it. It is also very affordable at $8/lb.
Remember: chia seeds can be used in all your foods and drinks. Even though chia seeds are tasteless and odorless, they enhance the taste of the foods they are applied to. So feel free to add it to snacks, yogurts, salads, shakes, cookies, cakes or anything that your heart desires. Eat it constantly and you will begin to see healthy changes in your body and life!
More on the benefits of chia seeds
- How to make chia seed drink (Recipes for chia seed beverages)
Learn how to make this nutritious drink out of Chia Seeds.
- MySeeds Chia Seeds Healthy Super Food
- NutritionTalk: Chia Seed Benefits