Chia Seeds Amazing For Your Body
Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a plant native to Mexico and Guatemala. It was cultivated and highly valued by the Aztec. It was so valued, in fact, that it is given as tribute by the people to the rulers and was used as a currency.
Chia seeds have numerous benefits, including reducing signs of aging, promoting digestive and heart health, fighting cancer (notably, cervical and breast cancer), facilitating weight loss, building stronger muscles and bones, and so on.
One of their greatest benefits is their ability to boost the energy levels. Even Aztec and Mayan warriors were aware of this and they consumed chia seeds for strength and energy during battles. In fact, chia means “strength” in the Mayan language and it was called “running food” by the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico. The members of this tribe could run very long distances (100 miles and more!) using only chia seeds and water as an energy source.
The reason Chia seeds are so powerful are the numerous nutrients they contain, including dietary fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein, vitamins (A, B, E and D) and minerals (to mention only a few: calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus). They are also very rich in anti-oxidants.
HOW CHIA FIGHTS TIREDNESS AND FATIGUE
The essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in Chia seeds help keep your body fresh by regulating the function of glands, fight adrenal fatigue, and reducing the risk of inflammation. Our body cannot produce these fatty acids and it is very important to provide them with the diet.
The fatty acids combine with protein and dietary fiber to keep the blood sugar levels and insulin levels stable and prevent the so-called afternoon sugar crashes that usually result in cravings and overeating.
Chia also slows the absorption of sugar and the process of converting sugars and carbs into energy. This leads to a more sustained energy that lasts for a long time.
Athletes and people who work out regularly are encouraged to consume chia seeds before and after training sessions. “The better you fuel for workouts, the better those workouts and resulting calorie burning and weight loss will be.” Besides energy boost, chia seeds have been known to provide hydration to the body and reduce inflammation around the joints, which helps the muscles recover after the training.
HOW TO CONSUME CHIA SEEDS
Soaking the chia seeds makes them easier to digest, ergo the body will use up the nutrients inside the seeds more efficiently. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of chia seeds in one cup of water (1:10 ratio) and let them sit for 1-2 hours. The soaked seeds should form a gel and not appear watery.
They can also be consumed whole or ground. Whole chia seeds (soaked or dry) can be added to plain or lemon water, milk, yogurt, smoothies, cereals, omelets, and salads. Grinding them in a coffee machine will break down the hard shell and prevent them from sticking between your teeth. This will also enable you to add them to recipes like pancakes, muffins, cakes, bread, and pasta. Store ground chia seeds in a sealed glass container in your refrigerator.
Make sure you use organic chia seeds and drink a lot of water because of their high-fiber content. The recommended daily intake is 1-2 tablespoons.