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8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds You Shouldn’t Miss

8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds You Shouldn’t Miss

Even if you’re not familiar with chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L), you might remember Chia Pets from years ago which sprouted vibrant green grass from terracotta pots shaped like whimsical characters. That’s right, your Chia Pet’s hair grew from chia seeds, which are now touted for their numerous health benefits. 

Long before Chia Pets became popular gifts, the indigenous South American communities in which chia originated used the tiny seeds for everything from a staple in their diets to medicine. Today, these nutrient-dense seeds are soluble when moistened, making them perfect for replacing eggs in baking. They also make great additions to smoothies and yogurts and are sprinkled into salads, soups, and sauces.

Rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium, chia seeds pack a delicious, nutritious punch. Read on to find out what makes chia seeds so good for you.

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1. They help strengthen the immune system

Chia seeds have notably high antioxidant vitamin content. Antioxidants are essential because they help prevent and stop damage to our cells. While it’s known that antioxidants are essential for good health, experts aren’t sure exactly which and at what dosage our bodies need certain antioxidant vitamins.

2. They keep you feeling full and suppress appetite

Not only do all bodies need protein to function, meals high in protein are known to help hungry bellies feel full and reduce cravings between meals. Fiber has similar health benefits while also helping your digestive system properly cleanse itself. Because chias are rich in both protein and fiber, they can give many dishes a healthy, satisfying boost.

3. They contain a long list of essential vitamins and minerals

The benefits of chia seeds include healthy levels of calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous, among other important nutrients. In fact, a serving of chia seeds actually contains more calcium than many dairy products by weight.

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4. They are bursting with healthy fats

Not all fats were created equal — and some of the healthiest fats are omega 3 fatty acids, which have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and which have been linked to a lowered risk of cancer due to protection from free radical damage. Chia seeds are a good source of these important fatty acids, containing around 5gms in a mere 1-ounce serving.

5. They are easy to digest

Are digestive problems an issue? Don’t worry! Chia seeds are easy on your digestive tract because they are extremely soluble in water. Chia seeds and soak up 10-12 times their own weight in water and form a gel-like substance that is easy for the body to break down. As a matter of fact, Chia seeds actually improve your gastrointestinal tract because they feed the healthy bacteria in your gut that are so important to digestion and overall health.

6. They support heart health

Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans — which is why heart health is something that so many people worry about. A diet which includes chia seeds can help to prevent cardiac disease through such things as lowering bad LDL cholesterol, raising the health HDL cholesterol and also bringing down levels of triglycerides in the blood.

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7. They contribute to weight loss plans

Although just adding chia seeds to your diet won’t help lose weight, if this addition is made to a lifestyle based on a healthy diet and regular exercise, it can make a difference in achieving a healthy body weight. This is partly because although it is low in calories (around 137 per ounce), it is also nutrient dense and packed with fiber, protein, healthy fat and plethora of vitamins and minerals.

8. Chia seeds Improve the health of people with type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has been called an epidemic in the United States because of the rising numbers of diabetics. However, studies have found that adding chia seeds to the diet can help to improve certain parameters that diabetics struggle with, including insulin resistance (or the inability of the body to use insulin to help transport sugars from the bloodstream to cells throughout the body which use it for energy).

The infographic below gives you a breakdown of the nutrients in a single serving of chia seeds.

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    Brian Wu

    Health Writer, Author

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    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

    There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

    “For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

    Primal Therapy

    Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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    How it Started

    “During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

    It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

    “I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

    Delving deeper

    Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

    Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

    Some Methods To Practice Screaming

    If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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    • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
    • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
    • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
    • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

    After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

    Scream Sing

    Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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    • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
    • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
    • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
    • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
    • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
    • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
    • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

    If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

    Scream into a pillow

    Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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    Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

    Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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