Chia seeds are small black seeds that deliver many nutrients, but with minimal calories. They are grown in South America and were a staple food in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans as far back as 3500 B.C. They were often thought of as “magical” because of their ability to increase energy and endurance over an extended period of time. In fact, the word chia means strength in the ancient Mayan language. Chia seeds can be eaten as a snack or with a meal and provide many nutrients to keep your body healthy. The following are some of the many health benefits that chia seeds provide.
Chia seeds are packed with protein, antioxidants, Omega 3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Studies show that all of these provide the same level of energy needed for a workout as most energy drinks. If you need a boost of energy for a workout, try switching to chia seeds. They are able to enhance your exercise performance the same way a sports drink can without the added sugar and carbohydrates. Also, chia seeds are very rich in antioxidants which help preserve the seeds as well as protect your body from cell damage.
Improves Bone Health
Chia seeds contain five hundred percent more calcium than milk, and one teaspoon will give you ten percent of your recommended daily requirement. Calcium is essential for maintaining the level of bone mass needed to support the structure of the body. When your body does not get enough calcium, it begins to take it away from your bones, which causes them to weaken and become more susceptible to breaks and fractures. Chia seeds contain many other bone building nutrients such as phosphorous, magnesium and protein. All of these nutrients are important in keeping your bones healthy and strong.
High in Fiber
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain ten grams of fiber. This is one third of the amount that is recommended each day for healthy adults. Fiber is important in keeping your digestive system running smoothly, reducing inflammation and helping your body maintain a healthy weight. Chia seeds help reduce food cravings by preventing your body from absorbing some of the food that you eat. Since they absorb ten times their weight in water, they make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
A one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains:
· 137 calories
· 9 grams of fat
· 4 grams of protein
· 10 grams of fiber
Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are loaded with many nutrients that are beneficial to your body and your brain. Even though they were considered a dietary staple many years ago, only recently have they become recognized as a modern day superfood. They are a whole grain food and are naturally gluten free. Chia seeds are easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be eaten raw or added to puddings, porridges and baked goods. They can also be sprinkled on top of cereal, yogurt and rice dishes. Chia seeds are a versatile and healthy addition to almost any diet.