Despite being a staple in South American diets for several millennia, chia seeds have only really gained popularity in the Western world in recent years. But why are chia seeds deemed a super food, and how will they benefit your health?
1. Diabetes Combatant
At the present time, studies are being undertaken to determine whether chia seeds are a natural treatment for type-2 diabetes due to their ability to slow down digestion. Furthermore, when they are exposed to liquid, they form a gelatinous coat which stops your blood sugar from spiking.
Chia seeds are high in fiber, which is fantastic for your general digestive health. In addition, it can be a natural remedy for constipation and helps to reduce inflammation and keep cholesterol low. A mere 28 grams of chia seeds will provide you with roughly a third of the required daily intake of fiber for adults.
3. Weight Loss
These seeds may be tiny, but they can rather miraculously make you feel satiated for longer. This is for two reasons. Firstly, because they bind together and form a kind of jelly when they get wet, they expand in your stomach, much like rice. As such, you feel fuller for longer. Secondly, they contain tryptophan, which is known for regulating ones appetite, as well as improving your mood and sleeping patterns.
4. Healthy Teeth and Bones
Calcium can be found in high percentages in chia seeds, which makes them incredibly beneficial for the strength and health of your bones and teeth. A single serving of chia seeds can provide you with an impressive 18% of your recommended daily intake of calcium.
5. Egg Replacement
This is a health benefit for vegans or anyone allergic to eggs. Due to the aforementioned gelatinous nature of chia seeds, once they come into contact with liquid, they make a fantastic replacement for eggs (in baking recipes). To create this replacement, simply mix a tablespoon of chia with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Voila!
6. Gluten Free
Gluten intolerance is becoming an increasing problem in 21st century society. Luckily, chia seeds provide the texture and benefits of grains whilst being completely gluten free!
7. Packed with Protein
Chia seeds contain a high level of protein, with none of the nasty cholesterol. Protein should be a dietary priority because it helps your body to build and maintain tissue and create new cells–all of which are imperative for it to perform ordinary functions. One serving of chia seeds contain roughly 10% of your daily protein requirements. This is impressive, as the majority of protein rich foods are usually meat based products.
8. Disease Prevention
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, which means they can help prevent cancer and heart disease. On a slightly less important note, they also help to keep your skin looking young and healthy. People with a high antioxidant intake are roughly 40% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer and reduce their risk of heart attack by 29%.
9. Healthy Heart
I know we just mentioned lessening heart attack rates, but chia seeds can also keep your heart healthy for a different reason. This super food is incredibly beneficial to your blood pressure, again due to its high level of antioxidants. In fact, people whose have a high intake are 46% less likely to develop high blood pressure.
10. Brain Health
Chia seeds also contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. This should be an important part of your diet because it assists in the function and general well-being of your brain. In addition, it also works as an anti-inflammatory and can help to combat depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.