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When Making Desserts Are Fun, Delicious and HEALTHY: Chia Seed Pudding

When Making Desserts Are Fun, Delicious and HEALTHY: Chia Seed Pudding

We are now in the era of rediscovering amazing benefits of many super foods that have been around for quite some time now and chia seeds are one of them. The word “chia” actually means “strength” in the Mayan language as chia seeds are powerful energy boosters. Not only do they boost your endurance, but they are also packed with nutrients that have a positive influence on your health on so many levels.

Chia seeds come from a flowery plant of the mint family, Salvia Hispanica, which grows in Mexico, and it was a food of choice for Aztec warriors for providing them with strength to fight. However, it was not very well known in the other parts of the world, until researcher Wayne Coates started studying chia back in 1991. Chia seeds can be of white or black color, and they are rich in omega-3 fats, fibers, proteins, calcium and phosphorous.

Chia seeds: Rich in nutrients, Low in calories

100 grams of chia seeds contain various healthy nutrients [1] :

  • 34.4 grams of fiber
  • 16.5 grams of proteins
  • 17.83 grams of omega-3 fats
  • 860 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 631 milligrams of calcium

With only 486 calories in 100 grams and plenty of proteins, minerals and healthy fats, chia seeds have rightfully earned their place in the super foods. Besides phosphorous and calcium, chia seeds are also a great source of iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. If you are looking for a great gluten-free source of valuable antioxidants, then chia seeds are the perfect choice for you.

What health benefits do chia seeds provide?

Chia seed can be beneficial for your skin, digestive health, heart, helps with diabetes and makes your bones stronger.

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Chia seeds can prevent skin aging

A study conducted in Mexico [2] has confirmed that chia seeds possess high anti-oxidant capacity, which helps in preventing skin damage. Anti-oxidants remove free radical from our blood thus helping the skin repair faster and prevent premature skin aging.

Chia seeds prevent cardiovascular diseases

Chia seeds have numerous health benefits that can help your heart and prevent various cardiovascular diseases. By lowering blood pressure, chia seeds help in protecting your heart, as researchers from the Department of Nutrition at University of Paraiba in Mexico have proven [3].

Furthermore, chia seeds reduce the risk of heart attack due to the fact that they are a great source of fiber. It has been proved [4] that taking just 10 grams of fiber on a daily basis can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.

Chia seeds control blood sugar levels

Thanks to their high content of fibers, proteins and healthy omega-3 fats, chia seeds can improve your metabolic health, and consequently help you regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. Researchers from Ontario conducted a study [5] that showed how bread made with chia seeds is successful in regulating blood glucose levels.

Chia seeds are successful in fighting cancer

Alpha lineic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, which is found in chia seeds is beneficial in fighting cancer, more specifically, breast and cervical cancers. A study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry [6] demonstrated findings that confirmed that alpha lineic acid limits the growth of cancer cells, without affecting the healthy cells.

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Chia seeds help with weight loss

A diet rich in chia seeds will enable you to feel full without many unnecessary calories. Moreover, chia seeds are rich in fiber and protein, which helps with weight loss, as it has been proven that a diet that contains a lot of protein reduced appetite [7].

Chia seeds make your bones stronger

In order for our bones to stay strong, they need calcium, thus chia seeds are a great choice for people who wish to maintain bone strength and mass. As Dr Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist, points out [8]: “Chia seeds can give you a real energy kick. One tablespoon has more calcium than a glass of milk.” In addition to calcium, chia seeds contain other minerals that are necessary for promoting bone health, such as magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.

Chia seeds help promote digestive health

Incorporating chia seeds in your diet means you are increasing the intake of fibers, which are beneficial for your digestive health and prevent constipation [9].

Are there any side effects when consuming chia seeds?

There haven’t been any serious cases of adverse effects caused by consumption of chia seeds, yet it is advised to consume plenty of water with chia seeds.

As chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fats, consuming them in large quantities may lead to blood thinning, thus it is advised to consult your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medications.

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How to pick the best chia seeds?

As with any type of food, you should always buy chia seeds from trusted brands, and of course, organically grown are the best ones. It is also a good practice to buy whole seeds, and not ground chia, since nutrients are best preserved in whole grain seeds.

As far as the color of chia seeds is concerned, always pick black speckled or white. If chia seeds are of brown color, that is probably the sign that the seeds are not mature enough or they haven’t been grown in optimal conditions.

Raw or soaked?

There is no harm in eating raw chia seeds, but soaking them will make it possible for your body to absorb all the nutrients better. When soaking chia seeds, the best option is to use 1:10 ratio chia to water. You can then leave them to sit from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your preferences. If you eat raw chia seeds, they will absorb water from your organism, so you should drink plenty of water.

3 Chia seed pudding you cannot miss (They are easy!)

Chia seed puddings are quite easy to prepare, and the recipes won’t require much of your time. You will have a great dessert that is low in calories and rich in healthy nutrients.

Overnight chocolate chia seed pudding

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    It takes only 15 minutes to prepare this delicious and creamy chocolate pudding with just 6 basic ingredients. It is naturally sweetened and perfect for either healthy breakfast or snack.

    Vanilla-almond chia breakfast pudding

      Perfect way to start your day and fill yourself with energy. For this recipe, you will need to soak chia seeds in almond milk overnight, which will give pudding an amazing texture. You can also add fresh seasonal fruits for richer flavor.

      Pina colada chia pudding

        Taste the delicious flavor of your favorite cocktail in a healthier version. With the taste of pineapple and coconut, you will feel as if you are at the beach, drinking cocktails. It’s great for breakfast or dessert.

        How much chia seed should you eat?

        There isn’t a recommended amount for consuming chia on a daily basis. However, the reasonable amount of chia seed you should consume every day is around 25 grams. Chia seeds are indeed healthy, but you should be moderate in consumption.

        Chia seeds are even safe for women who are pregnant, and is also quite beneficial for their health.

        Reference

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        Ana Erkic

        Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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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