Chia seeds are little black seeds usually found in health food stores. The seeds originate from Mexico, although Aztecs, Mayans, Incans and Native Americans usually consumed the seed throughout Central and South America. The seeds are harvested from a plant formally known as Salvia Hispanica, which is a member of the mint family.
Why should you eat chia seeds?
The seeds contain 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon of whole seeds. This fiber helps digestion, bulks up your stool, and helps you feel fuller. Also, they are rich in omega-3, phosphorus, manganese, and protein.
1.Easy to digest
Chis seeds are easily digested and absorbed by your digestive tract. Most of the nutrients they contain are soluble in water, so soaked seeds are even easier for your body to process.
2.Cleanse your intestines
Chia seeds bulk up stool sweep through your digestive tract to clear away any old debris. Also, it helps remove anything that may be stuck along the way. In fact, chia is often used to keep patient regular and prevents constipation.
3.Controls blood sugar
Chia is often used in desserts to reduce the digestion of sugars by creating a barrier between digestive enzymes and carbohydrates. This results in a steady release of energy instead of sugar highs and crashes, which is particularly helpful for diabetics.
4.Keeps you hydrated
Because chia seeds can absorb so much water, they help your body retain water and electrolytes, which is great for athletes and active children. If you’re going to be spending a day out in the sun, have some chia seeds at breakfast and drink plenty of water to keep you safe from heat stroke.
Chia seeds are gluten-free. This makes them an important source of fiber and protein that’s suitable for just about everyone. Use it to replace wheat, barley, rye and oats.
Additional chia health benefits
Chia seeds also promote weight loss by fighting insulin resistance, which is linked to an increase in belly fat.
Also, they contain an amino acid called Tryptophan, which helps regulate appetite, promotes better sleep and improves mood. It can also improve blood pressure in diabetics.
The seeds also prevent heart disease, enhance exercise performance and even reverse metabolic syndrome.
Other benefits include:
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
- Raises HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol)
- Fights heart disease
- Fights colorectal cancer
How to use chia seeds
Chia seeds are incredibly versatile in the kitchen, as they can be used in pudding, baked goods, and salads. They have a mild, nutty flavor that complements just about anything.
The seeds are also hydrophilic, meaning that they absorb liquid and create a gel. In under ten minutes, the seeds can soak roughly ten times its own weight in liquid!
You can make your own chia gel by soaking 1/3 cup of seeds in 2 cups of water or juice and letting it sit in a sealed glass container overnight.
When made with water, the gel can last up to 3 weeks in the fridge. This gel can then be used in smoothies and desserts or simply taken on its own.
The seeds can also be ground into a flour and used in vegan and gluten-free baking or as a protein shake. If you like the texture of the seeds, add them raw to granola or oatmeal for a quick energy boost.