fun facts from behind
The Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
POSTED BY Rosemary ON Apr 26th, 2012
Written by: Rosemary Seguin CNP, NNCP
Ch..Ch..Ch..Chia…How many of you had a Chia Pet growing up? Did you know those same little seeds that were used to grow hair on your favourite little character or animal are the same chia seeds that are all the rage today, but this time for their amazing health benefits.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia is flowering plant that is a member of the mint family but without any minty taste. In fact they are actually rather tasteless making them ideal to add to a variety of different foods without altering the taste.
Aztec and Mayan cultures used chia seeds for many different health issues/benefits such as joint pain, skin conditions, strength and endurance. The word “Chia” comes from Mayan culture and means “Strength”.
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, fiber, complete protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They can absorb 9 times their volume in water providing energy, prolonged hydration, and retention of electrolytes, perfect for runners and athletes.
They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron.
· Chia has 5 times more calcium than milk plus magnesium and boron, essential trace minerals used in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins.
· 2 times the amount of potassium as bananas.
· 3 times more iron than spinach.
Chia Seeds contain age-defying anti-oxidants
Chia seeds are extremely high in antioxidants – 3 times the amount of blueberries! Antioxidants are what keep your skin looking youthful and radiant by preventing free-radical damage in your body.
Chia seeds keep you full longer, helping to promote weight loss.
Once chia seeds are soaked and made into a gelatinous “chia gel” they become a fantastic source of fiber.
· To make “chia gel” combine 1 part chia seeds to 9 parts of purified water. They will absorb all the water quite quickly and turn into a gel.
Chia seeds keep you regular
Chia seeds help to cleanse the digestive tract and may also help with elimination by providing soluble and insoluble fiber. The gel consistency keeps the colon hydrated to allow for easy movement.
Chia Seeds are a rich source of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are high in Omega fatty acids (higher than flax seeds). Chia is the richest plant-source of Omega-3. By weight, chia contains more omega-3 than salmon.
Baking with Chia Seeds:
You can substitute ½ the butter for chia gel in most recipes. It will bake the same and taste the same.
Method: divide the amount of butter in half. Fill in the other missing half with chia gel to obtain the desired amount the recipe calls for.
You can use chia to replace butter in cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles.
Some of the health benefits of adding chia seeds to your daily diet:
· Increases energy levels
· Strengthens the immune system
· Helps the body absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K
· Increases endurance levels
· Helps with weight loss
· Normalizes blood sugar levels – great for those with diabetes
· Helps provide relief from arthritis
· Cleanses the colon
· Gets rid of toxins
· Prolongs hydration
· Retains electrolytes
· Reduce inflammation
· Helps to lower blood pressure
· Improves night rest and mood
· Lowers the risk of heart diseases
· Improves overall health
· Lowers cholesterol
· Improves acid-reflux
· Helps IBS
Want to learn more about how to incorporate chia seeds into your daily diet with easy and delicious recipes? Stay tuned for my next blog post and ill teach you some of my favourite ways to use chia seeds.