The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
One of the most known seeds are that of the chia plant. First used by the Aztecs, it was used as one of the main components for this ancient tribe. It was also used as a cash crop in the centre of Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C for medicinal properties and nutritional value; and has recently become one of the most popular ‘superfoods’ in the health community.
This amazing seed is easy to digest when prepared correctly; and easily incorporated into recipes, savoury or sweet. Chia seeds are also known for its plentiful array of health benefits.
The Aztecs were extremely fond of the Chia seed, and the word “chia” means strength in Mayan language, often referred to as the “runner’s food” as warriors and runners would use them to help sustain their energy during long runs or even in battle!
They weren’t wrong however, as recent research has uncovered the benefits of chia seeds are greater than we anticipated. These benefits include promoting health skin, reducing sides of aging, aiding cardiovascular health and the digestive system and increasing bone and muscular strength.
one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contain about:
12.3 grams carbohydrates
4.4 grams protein
8.6 grams fat
10.6 grams fibre
0.6 milligram manganese (30 percent DV)
265 milligrams phosphorus (27 percent DV)
177 milligrams calcium (18 percent DV)
1 milligram zinc (7 percent DV)
0.1 milligram copper (3 percent DV)
44.8 milligrams potassium (1 percent DV)
This is without mentioning the fact they contain the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid; mucin; strontium vitamins A, B, E and D; and even minerals, including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine; while being a rich source of antioxidants!
Chia seeds are also renowned for their ability to help increase metabolism and energy content. Studies have shown that the addition of chia seeds to a diet can help reduces visceral adipose tissue, a belly fat tissue that slows metabolism and is a key component of obesity.
With calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc being plentiful within chia seeds, it’s no surprise they’re a quality food to help maintain healthy teeth. Calcium is the building block of teeth and is necessary to maintain tooth health. Zinc partners with calcium by helping prevent tartar and keeping plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth. It also has an antibacterial effect that repels germs causing bad breath. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also important for strengthening teeth and general oral hygiene.
As with any foods, chia seeds should be eaten in moderation, and eased into your diet. Consuming large amounts in one sitting or not incorporating them gradually into your diet can cause stomach discomfort due to high fibre content. However, once incorporated correctly, you can start to enjoy the amazing visible and health boosting effects! The recommended daily intake is one to two tablespoons of dry seeds.