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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 September 18, 2020

        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

        Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

        Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

        1. Exercise Daily

        It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

        If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

        Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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        If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

        2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

        Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

        One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

        This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

        3. Acknowledge Your Limits

        Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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        Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

        Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

        4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

        Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

        The basic nutritional advice includes:

        • Eat unprocessed foods
        • Eat more veggies
        • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
        • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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        Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

          5. Watch Out for Travel

          Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

          This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

          If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

          6. Start Slow

          Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

          If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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          7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

          Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

          My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

          If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

          I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

          Final Thoughts

          Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

          Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

          More Tips on Getting in Shape

          Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

          Reference

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