Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds, Salvia hispanica, Image from Wikimedia CommonsThe health benefits of chia seeds are not new to human knowledge because people in ancient America were aware on the powerful benefits that the seeds can offer. For many centuries, the Aztecs and other Native Americans cultivate chia plants for their edible seeds that they use as food, medicine, and tribute to their gods and nobilities. They believed that eating chia seeds provides them enough energy to perform their daily activities. In fact, Aztec warriors subsisted on the chia seeds during long periods of war. As little as teaspoon full of chia seeds can sustain a warrior in 24 hours forced march. Colloids (watery, gelatinous, glue-like substances) formed by soaking chia seeds to water have been used by Native Americans and even the colonial Spaniards to treat wounds; the colloids prevent infection and promotes healing.

The health benefits of chia seeds have been rediscovered as a result of the continuous quest of man to natural products for the treatment and prevention of metabolic diseases which affect millions of people today. These metabolic diseases include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases. Chia seeds are among the super foods that should be consumed by people who want to stay healthy and fit. Doctors and nutritionists totally recommend chia seeds for the numerous health benefits that the seeds could offer. Below are among the many health benefits of chia seeds.

Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

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Chia seeds contain antioxidants

-There are significant levels of antioxidants found in chia seeds which include chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols. Thousands of scientific researches show that antioxidants help our body to fight infection, inflammation, and more importantly cancer. Antioxidants also help delay the ageing process. Antioxidants work inside the cells to remove free radicals that damage subcellular structures. Free radicals are very reactive compounds that can cause mutation and cancer. Moreover, antioxidants boost our immune system making us less susceptible to infection. So to prevent cancer and infection, consume chia seeds regularly.

Chia seeds contain protein

Chia seeds contain 20% protein. There are many functions of proteins in the human body. Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are used in the production of muscle tissue, enzymes, antibodies, bones, hormones, blood cells, etc. Chia seeds are the best non-meat source of protein. If you are a vegetarian, consume chia seeds to ensure that your body has adequate supply of protein for muscle building and cell regeneration.


Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acid is a long-chain polyunsaturated acid used in the prevention of high blood cholesterol, heart disease, and arthritis. Contrary to the popular notion that omega-3 fatty acid is only found in fish, omega-3 is also found in chia seeds. Thirty-four percent of chia seed is oil, and 64% of this oil is omega-3 fatty acid. If you don’t want to eat fish but still want omega-3 in your system, chia seed is the best choice. Omega-3 has the amazing ability to lower blood cholesterol; many scientists used this as a conclusion in their researches. Why is lower blood cholesterol important? It is because high blood cholesterol is associated to atherosclerosis or the formation of cholesterol deposits plaques on the inner surfaces of the arteries obstructing blood flow. Blood flow obstruction could lead to heart attack and stroke so lower your blood cholesterol now by regularly consuming chia seeds.


Chia seeds help stabilize blood sugar

Chia seeds can help stabilize blood sugar level by slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. When chia seeds reach the stomach, they began to imbibe or absorb water to form watery, gelatinous, glue-like substances. These gelatinous substances create a barrier between digestive enzymes and carbohydrates; this will slow down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. Since chia seeds help stabilize blood sugar, diabetics are advised to include chia seeds in their diet. Chia seeds are much cheaper than available diabetic drugs in the market today.


Chia seeds have dietary fibers for weight loss and healthy digestive system

Twenty five percent of chia seed is made up of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Chia seeds are coated by soluble fibers which form gelatinous substances when exposed to water. The presence of gelatinous substances in the stomach gives a person the feeling of being full for longer hours so he/she will not crave for food more often. If you are determined to lose weight, try eating chia seeds. There are chia seed recipes and preparations available in the web today that you could use. In addition to weight loss, the gelatinous chia seeds keep the colon well hydrated which makes food movement easier.

The exterior of chia seed is made up of insoluble fibers. These insoluble fibers are made up of cellulose which humans could not digest so they will not contribute any calories. Insoluble fibers help keep food moving smoothly through the digestive system. Studies show that insoluble fibers play a role in the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases like diverticulitis.


Chia seeds contain essential minerals

Chia seeds contain calcium, potassium, and boron which are used by the body to perform its functions. About 2 oz of chia seeds contain 600 mg of calcium as compared to a cup of milk which only contain 120 mg of calcium. If you have lactose intolerance, chia seed is a good substitute. Calcium, as we know, helps in bone development but it has other important functions in the body. Boron enhances the absorption and utilization of calcium in the body. Potassium is needed in heart contraction and other body functions.


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