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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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        Last Updated on August 15, 2018

        7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

        7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

        Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

        Video Summary

        Why is it important to train up our core strength?

        There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

        This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

        Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

        In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

        One Exercise, multiple benefits

        There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

        By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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        When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

        Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

        In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

        What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

        What will happen when you start doing planks every day

          1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

          Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

          • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
          • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
          • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
          • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

          2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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            Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

            Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

            3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

              Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

              4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                5. You’ll improve overall balance

                  Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                  6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                    Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                    7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                      Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                      How to hold a plank position

                      1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                      2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                      3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                      4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                      5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                      6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                      7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                      Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                      Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                        How to improve your plank time gradually

                        1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                        2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                        3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                        Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                        Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                        You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                        • Prolapse
                        • After prolapse surgery
                        • Pelvic pain conditions
                        • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                        • Previous childbirth
                        • Overweight

                        Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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