Using the Nutrients of Chia Seeds for Healthy Dieting
Using the Nutrients of Chia Seeds for Healthy DietingChia means strength in Mayan. For Incans and Mayans, chia seeds were used as sources of energy.
The Aztecs used chia seeds as a beverage by mixing them with water. During conquests, warriors used chia seeds as an energy supplement. The seeds are still commonly consumed in Central and South America. They are rich in protein and fiber and also have high concentrations of essential fatty acids. They contain iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.
They also have a high concentration of antioxidants. With all these nutrients, chia seeds are among the superfoods of today as they benefit both the brain and the body.
You can eat chia seeds when raw or you can add them to foods and drinks. The following are the major nutritional benefits of chia seeds.
1. Control blood sugar: chia seeds have both insoluble and soluble fiber which helps in slowing down the rate at which the body converts food into sugar. Research has shown that chia seeds help people that suffer from diabetes by protecting their hearts and regulating their blood sugar levels. Scientific research studies have shown that diets rich in chia lower the levels of triglyceride and cholesterol in the body while increasing the levels of high-density cholesterol.
2. Protects the heart: it has been proven scientifically that diets that are rich in chia help in preserving the heart. Chia seeds have a high concentration of an essential fatty acid called ‘a-linolenic acid’ (ALA). When people on a high-fat and carbohydrate diet are fed on chia seeds, it results in reduced liver and cardiac inflammation, improved insulin tolerance, and increased insulin sensitivity.
3. Managing cholesterol: it has been found that blood cholesterol and fats can be normalized by consuming diets rich in chia. In a study that was published in 2009, different individuals were fed for three months on a diet rich in sugar. For the following three months, chia seeds were used as the main source of fat in half the individuals. Chia seeds help in preventing the onset of fats and high lipids in the blood. They also help in reducing abnormal fat.
4. Help in preventing diverticulitis: the market nowadays is full of white flour and over-processed foods; this makes it hard to come by foods rich in fiber. The lack of fiber in most diets has contributed to the increasing cases of diverticulitis. The irregularity of fiber worsens this condition. For regularity, your diet should have both insoluble and soluble fiber in it, and chia seeds help with its gelling action. The exterior of the chia seed has insoluble fiber, and this ensures a smooth movement of food down the gut. The gel coating and the soluble fiber of the seed ensure that the colon is always hydrated, hence easy food movement.
5. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3: most people think that omega 3 can only be obtained from fish, but what about if you do not want to eat fish every day and yet you require omega 3? Chia is one of the richest sources of healthy plant oils. Chia has a higher amount of omega 3 than tuna. Omega 3 plays a very important role in cholesterol and heart health. It has also been proven that in some individuals, chia seeds help in losing weight.