Many proclaimed superfoods come and go in today’s quick-moving society, with several life-saving seeds, vitamins, herbs, nuts and vegetables finding themselves in the limelight for the powerful impact that they have on the human body. Most of these do not last the test of time, with another new favorite coming through the ranks monthly. Chia seed is the one seed that has been front and center year after year and it is no surprise as to why. This tiny little seed is among the most powerfully beneficial seeds for the human body. It’s positive health implications are far reaching and prove it to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
The chia seed (Salvia Hispanica) is grown mostly in Mexico and South America, with its origins feathering as far back as the ancient Mayans and Aztec. Both the Mayans and Aztecs used the chia seed for its “supernatural” powers, as it was believed the cure the uncurable. Its nutty flavor makes it edible in all forms and it is an incredibly versatile member of the mint family. Chia can be sprinkled on almost anything, from cereals, to salads, to baked vegetables. What makes chia seed so desirable though has nothing to do with the flavor as it is all about the health benefits and nutritional value of this little seed. Outlined below will be ten of the very best.
Chia seeds are packed full of antioxidants:
Chia seed have a very high antioxidant content. Antioxidants fight free radicals within the body, which means less chance of premature aging and cancer. The antioxidants in chia seed also keep the sensitive fats from going rancid. These fats are also highly beneficial.
Chia seeds are very high in quality protein:
The content of protein in chia is very high considering the weight of the little seed. The high level of amino acids within chia also mean that the protein will be absorbed into the body. If you are someone who eats little to no animal products, then the chia seed is the perfect way to get your daily requirement of protein.
Chia seeds are highly beneficial for bone health:
Chia seeds contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein, all of which are very beneficial for bone health. They are especially high in calcium, with a single ounce containing 18% of your recommended daily intake. Chai seed are also great for oral health due to their high levels of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc. Calcium is the essence of all healthy teeth, while zinc deters tartar and acts as a antibacterial to the mouth.
Chia seeds support healthy skin:
Due to its high level of antioxidants, chia deters free radical damage to the skin, keeping it supple, fresh and youthful. Recent studies have suggested that chia seed stops up to 70% of free radical activity.
Chia seeds assist with healthy digestion:
Due to their high fiber content, chia seed is kind to your digestion and will help to assist in keeping your digestive system healthy. One ounce of chia seeds will take up 44% of your recommended daily fiber needs. Almost all of the carbohydrate content of chia seed is fiber. Chia seeds can also keep you feeling fuller for longer, as the fiber in the seed absorbs water that then expands in the stomach.
Chia seeds balance blood-sugar levels:
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels helps to fight diabetes and insulin resistance. The alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and fiber in chia seeds helps to keep the bodies blood sugar levels in balance. Adding chia seeds to your diet can help to combat the negative impact of occasional bad food choices. Studies have found that adding chia seed to white bread can prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels that you would normally find with regular white bread.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the essential nutrients that your body cannot make for itself. Food is the only way that the body can get to this amazing nutrient that is vital for the health of the heart, the health of your brain and a healthy immune system. It is also great for glowing skin and hair. Chia seed is a great plant-based source of omega-3, known as alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). ALA has been found to lower cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart attack, with just one tablespoon providing you with your recommended daily intake.
Chia seeds can help to promote weight loss:
Due to the nature of soluble fiber, the process of the chia seed absorbing water in your stomach and making you feel fuller for longer will deter eating until completely necessary. The high protein content in chia seed can also help you to feel fuller for longer and can reduce appetite, therefore reducing food intake.
Chia seeds may lower your risk of heart disease:
Due to the chia seeds amazing properties, such as high protein, high omega-3’s and high fiber, your risk of heart disease is lowered by consuming this powerful little seed. They have been proven to reduce blood pressure and to lower risk factors including triglycerides, insulin resistance, inflammation and belly fat.
Chia seed is great for brain function:
Chia seeds contain all the fundamental nutrients needed for brain function. Chia is just as important for your mental health as it is your physical health. The omega-3’s in chia seeds create the membrane surrounding your brain, the carbohydrates fuel the brain, the protein is broken down into amino acids for brain function and the antioxidants prevent any damage to the brain.
Chia seeds are by far one of the most beneficial superfoods coming through the ranks at the moment and for very good reason. Not only do they provide the body with energy to live happily, they also prevent any damage to the body, while also assisting the function of the heart and the brain. They are not going anywhere anytime soon, so get your hands on them to optimize your physical and mental health.