Superfood: CHIA SEED
The Top 8 Secrets of the Super Small “Superfood”
Over the course of human history, chia seeds have been used by societies around the world for their wide array of health benefits. Although “superfoods” seem to be more of a myth than reality, chia seeds show their strength with the powerful nutritional benefits they deliver. Chia seeds are incredibly small, but don’t let their size fool you: these little seeds have nearly limitless benefits, as they provide dozens of minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Because of their small size and mellow flavor, chia seeds can be added to nearly every dish from pancakes to salads and can even be used to make one of the best puddings you'll ever taste!
The Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds
The vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that chia seeds offer mean a variety of health benefits to those who include them in their daily diet. Chia seeds can help your body reduce inflammation, reduce (and even prevent) the risk of some health issues like high cholesterol, and can stabilize your energy levels throughout the day. How? By providing your body with the following: Essential Omega-3, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, fiber, and a number of phytonutrients. Polyunsaturated fats (in this case, Alpha linoleic Acid (ALA)) are critical to a healthy diet, however finding foods that contain them can prove difficult in today’s processed world. Typically present in fatty fish such as salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts, Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in Chia seeds. The fatty acids promote good overall health, particularly for your brain and heart and reduce inflammation.
For those looking to hinder the aging process, antioxidants are a must. Antioxidants work to protect the human body from free radicals and cancer cells, all while slowing the effects of aging on a person’s appearance. One of the best places to find antioxidants is the chia seed, along with blueberries and teas.
A proper amount of fiber in one’s diet can go a long way as it plays host to a number of benefits: regulated bowel movements, lowered cholesterol, reduction in inflammation, and providing a feeling of fullness after a meal are all benefits of a proper amount of fiber. We want to see the average male between the ages of 18 and 50 getting at least 28 grams of fiber per day, with women getting slightly more. The average diet in America only has 12 grams per day! Chia seeds carry a significant amount of fiber, meaning they can be added to any diet to ensure the benefits of fiber after every meal.
An Abundance of Minerals
Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese are all present in chia seeds, and each of these offers excellent benefits to the body. In addition, these minerals are necessary for the body to have a healthy metabolism that's full of energy, meaning that chia seeds can even help you lose weight.
Regulated Blood Sugar
Blood sugar levels determine someone’s levels of energy; when someone’s blood sugar is low, they will often act sluggish or tired, and if their blood sugar is too high, there will likely be serious implications. Chia seeds work to regulate the body’s insulin levels, meaning it helps to keep blood sugar levels regulated, keeping those who eat them energized and attentive.
High fiber foods have a tendency to be poorly-digested by the body, which means eating them can lead to unpleasant digestive issues such as gas and bloating. In contrast to most high fiber foods, chia seeds are very easily digested by the body, making them a great choice for consumption with any meal.
Delivers a “Full” Feeling
Chia seeds are also great for someone struggling with overeating and weight loss. Their ability to make a person feel full even after eating a smaller-than-usual portion is great for getting set for a hard afternoon. Many diet foods do not contain substantial amounts of fiber, protein, or fats, meaning that many people do not feel full after their meals when on a diet. Chia seeds deliver ample amounts of both protein, fat, and fiber (up to 45% of your daily needs!), making them an excellent solution for those who have trouble feeling satiated.
As if chia seeds didn’t already have enough to offer, they are also gluten-free, meaning they can be eaten by those on a gluten-free diet, or those allergic to the substance. With just the addition of a few small seeds, your diet can go from lackluster to full of wonderful health benefits. Anyone can learn secrets of nutrition like these under the guidance of one of the area’s best nutrition counselors. The type you buy matters and the way they're prepared can effect the nutrients inside so be sure to consult a professional with any questions you have and let us know if you find a great recipe for us to share as well!