Chia seeds are native to Guatemala and Mexico. According to history it was regarded as a very significant food crop for Aztecs. They also used them for medicinal purposes. Despite their small size, they are packed with important nutrients. They are in fact among the world’s old sources of nutrition. They provide an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also full of antioxidants and are rich in calcium, iron, fiber and magnesium. Keep reading to find out why chia seeds are a powerhouse addition to your diet.
Stronger Teeth and Bones
One serving of chia seeds contains 18% of the recommended daily calcium intake which makes it easier for you to maintain bone and oral health and also prevent osteoporosis.
High in Fiber
Chia seeds contain high fiber content, with just two tablespoon serving, you are provided with 9.6 grams or 38% of the daily value. Eating the required amount of the dietary fiber may help in lowering the risk for high cholesterol, obesity, constipation, heart disease and also help in controlling the blood sugar levels.
Full of Antioxidants
Chia seeds have high amounts of antioxidants that help in protecting the body against free radicals, cancer and aging. The high antioxidant profile is also helpful as it gives them along shelf life. Chia seeds are able to last for like two years without refrigeration.
Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are high in polyunsaturated fats, especially the omega-3 fatty acids. With a lipid profile composing of 60% omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are on the list of richest plant-based sources of the said fatty acids—specifically the alpha-linolenic acid. The omega-3s found in chia seeds can help enhance cognitive performance, reduce inflammation and reduce high cholesterol.
High in Quality Protein
There is a decent amount of protein contained in chia seeds. By weight about 14% protein is found in chia seeds which is very high when compared to most plants. A good balance of the essential amino acids which makes it easier for our bodies to use the protein in them is also present in the chia seeds. Protein has various health benefits. It is also beneficial when it comes to weight loss. High intake of protein reduces appetite and it is believed to decrease obsessive thoughts regarding food by 60% and the desire to have night time snacks by 50%. Chia seeds are indeed an excellent source of protein especially for those who consume less or no animal products.
Good for Weight Loss
According to many health experts, chia seeds can help one lose weight. The fiber in it absorbs a lot of water thus expanding in the stomach. This increases fullness and slows the absorption of food. The protein found in chia seeds reduces appetite and food intake. However, a weight loss diet requires more than simply adding or subtracting some foods. The whole diet counts, together with other lifestyle behavior like exercise and sleep.
The above health benefits should give you a reason as to why you should start incorporating chia seeds into your daily diet. The good thing is that chia seeds can easily be found in major supermarkets and healthy food stores. They can be eaten raw or cooked. You simply sprinkle them on yogurt, smoothies, cereal and oatmeal. You can also add them to baked foods like muffins and bread.