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5 Health Benefits Of Chia Seed + Delicious Recipes

5 Health Benefits Of Chia Seed + Delicious Recipes

The chia seed has long been an important part of traditional Mayan and Aztec diets. It is native to certain areas of Mexico and Guatemala. In the early ’90s, it became popular as an entertaining household plant – Chia Pets. Recently, nutritionists confirmed what Maya and Aztec cultures have always known: the chia seed is full of nutrients and antioxidants.

Why exactly should you add this little seed to your diet? Take a look at some of the many health benefits of the chia seed.

1. Rapid Skin Repair

According to Nutritionist Vicki Edgson, the chia seed contains omega-6 LA, antioxidants, and protein. [1] All of these come together in the perfect skin-rejuvenating combination. Not only do antioxidants slow the aging process, but the protein is perfect for rebuilding and repairing skin tissue. Each serving of chia seed contains 20% protein, making it an excellent source.

2. Reduces Skin Inflammation

If you struggle with inflamed and irritated skin, the chia seed might be perfect for you. This is because it contains both omega-3 and fiber, both known to to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids work to maintain cell membrane health. [2] Healthy cell membranes allow nutrients to be absorbed and wastes to be expelled. Omega-3 also reduces the production of inflammatory compounds.

3. Boosts Digestive Health

A 1-ounce serving of chia seed contains 11 grams of dietary fiber, which is approximately 33% of the daily recommended serving. Dietary fiber helps increase and soften your stool, reducing the risk of constipation. [3] Adding chia to your diet can help improve your digestive health.

4. Strengthens Bones

That same 1-ounce serving of chia seed also contains 18% of your daily recommended intake of calcium. [4] Calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth. Getting enough in your diet can also help prevent osteoporosis.

5. Promotes Healthy Teeth

The calcium found in the chia seed is also excellent for the health of your teeth. Try to get at least a serving a day to prevent tooth loss and decay.

Introducing Chia Seed to Your Diet

So, now you know some of the many health benefits of the chia seed and you’re really interested in adding it to your diet. But how?

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Luckily for you, chia is really easy to include in your daily diet. It’s relatively tasteless so it won’t affect the flavor of whatever you add it to. Sprinkle seeds on top of your yogurt, salads, and smoothies. Some people even add a few teaspoons to their drinking water.

One of the most delicious ways to include chia, however, is by preparing puddings. Below are some popular chia pudding recipes.

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    Source

    Vanilla-Almond Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

    If you usually start your day with a handful of nuts, don’t miss out on this recipe. [5] The best part about it? It takes only five minutes to prepare!

    Ingredients

    2 cups unsweetened almond milk

    ½ cup chia seed

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    ½ teaspoon vanilla

    1 – 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

    Mix everything together, cover it, and place it in the fridge overnight. That’s it! The chia seed will expand and thicken in the milk. If it’s too thick in the morning, just add a little water to thin it out. Top with fresh fruit and nuts before serving.

    chocolate-chia-seed-pudding

      Source

      Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

      Prefer to start your day with a little chocolate? Definitely try this vegan, gluten free chia seed pudding. [6]

      Ingredients

      1 ½ cups almond milk

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      ⅓ cup chia seed

      ¼ cup cocoa powder

      2 to 5 tablespoons maple syrup

      ½ teaspoon cinnamon

      ¼ teaspoon salt

      ½ teaspoon vanilla

      Mix all of the ingredients together and place covered in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 5 hours. It’s probably easiest to leave it overnight. When you’re ready to serve the pudding, you can serve as is or place it in the blender for a smoother texture. Top it with fresh fruit, granola, or whipped cream.

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      coconut_mango_chia_pudding_1024x1024

        Source

        Low-Calorie Mango Chia Pudding

        If you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake, give this easy-to-prep recipe a shot. [7]

        Ingredients

        ¼ cup chia seed

        1 cup coconut milk (or low-fat to reduce calories even more!)

        ½ tablespoon honey

        Place all the ingredients in a glass jar, cover it, and put in the fridge for the night. In the morning just throw some fresh mango and pepita seeds on top. For a unique presentation, layer the pudding with mango puree. Enjoy!

        Featured photo credit: Mumumío via flickr.com

        Reference

        [1] http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/uncategorised/new-superfood-alert-why-you-need-to-make-chia-seeds-a-part-of-your-life-117542
        [2] http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/want-healthy-skin-feed-well#1
        [3] http://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/want-healthy-skin-feed-well#1
        [4] http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html
        [5] http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/chia-breakfast-pudding/
        [6] http://minimalistbaker.com/overnight-chocolate-chia-seed-pudding/
        [7] http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Chia-Pudding-Recipe-34333463

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        Last Updated on November 11, 2019

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

        Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

        To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

        Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

        1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

        Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

        Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

        To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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        2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

        Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

        If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

        Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

        3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

        Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

        Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

        4. Feed Your Brain

        Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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        This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

        Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

        Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

        5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

        According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

        Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

        Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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        6. Write it Down

        If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

        It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

        You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

        7. Listen to Music

        Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

        8. Visual Concepts

        In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

        Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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        Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

        9. Teach Someone Else

        Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

        Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

        10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

        Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

        So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

        Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

        More About Boosting Memory

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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