10 Reasons To Add Chia To Your Diet
The little chia seed which comes in either white or a dark brown and black color has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits for example. So once you've got your seeds, how to you add them to your diet? "The easiest way is to add it to everything and anything," The seeds are tasteless so they won't affect the flavor profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into all your meals. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added milled to smoothies, even add them to ice cream. (And yes, you can even sprout it and eat it that way too!)
❶ Combat Diabetes
Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.
How? Chia has the ability to help the body regulate carbohydrates and the sugars they turn into. When ingested, the chia seeds, in whatever form they were eaten, form a type of barrier inside the stomach. This barrier helps to slow the ingestion of sugar into the blood stream. This is especially helpful for diabetics who are unable to process sugars properly.
By regulating the speed at which sugar enters the blood stream, chia helps to keep a diabetic level and the glucose in their blood at proper levels. If there is too much sugar in a diabetics blood, they can feel sick and weak. One of the most extreme problems a diabetic faces is a diabetic seizure where they don't have enough sugar in their system. The addition of chia into the diet is an excellent way to help prevent that from happening.
Don't Forget Antioxidants Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.
❷ Get More Fiber
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fiber — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you're getting a good amount of fiber, which is important for digestive health.
❸ Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. "There's better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed," said researcher Wayne Coates. Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.
❹ Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 percent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.
Don't Forget Manganese Manganese isn't a well-known nutrient, but it's important for our health: it's good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 percent of your recommended intake of this mineral.
A study published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or "good" cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.
❻ Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 percent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair. Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. It is present in every cell of the body. Most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the bones and teeth.
Whats Phosphorus for? The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth.
It plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. Phosphorus also helps the body make ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy.
Phosphorus works with the B vitamins. It also helps with the following:
- Kidney function
- Muscle contractions
- Normal heartbeat
- Nerve signaling
❼ Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don't have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 percent of the daily value. That is a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain stontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
❽ Fight Belly Fat
Chia's stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat, according to Live Strong. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health. In 1996, a study at Garvan Institute of Medical Research, St. Vincent's Hospital, in Sydney, Australia investigated the link between abdominal fat and insulin resistance in normal and overweight women. Their results, published in the journal "Diabetes" in May 1996, found that not only was abdominal fat a strong marker for insulin resistance, it may be the major determining factor of insulin resistance in women.
❾ Get Full. Faster
Satiety, the feeling of being full and satisfied. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.
❿ Improve Heart Health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. Plus beyond all the above benefits chia seeds provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. All good news for your ticker!
- Though it would be somewhat unusual, some people may be allergic to chia seeds.
- Future studies are needed to better define the cardiovascular benefits of chia seeds. As a food source, however, chia seeds are quite safe.