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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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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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