Ch-Ch-Ch-CHIA! 7 Healthy Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

Article by Cristal G. Orpilla, RN

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7 Good Reasons to Start Eating Chia Seeds*

So I was in a health food store last week, perusing the aisles when I asked one of the girls who worked there if they carried chia seeds.

Chia seeds?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “You mean as in, like, ch-ch-ch-CHIA?!” she said, mimicking the popular hook from 80’s commercial. I laughed and said yes,  as I went on to explain the health powers of this incredible seed. More than just the green sprouts of the 80’s novelty, the Chia Pet, chia is an (incr-)edible seed that grows abundantly in southern Mexico and packed with health and nutritional benefits.

Read on for 7 healthy reasons why chia seeds are important for health and beauty.

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1. Chia seeds help with weight loss. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes it a great diet companion.

2. Chia seeds help you feel fuller faster. Chia seeds absorb 10x their weight in water, forming a bulky gel when it reaches the intestines.  Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This means you stay fuller, LONGER!  And because of the fiber, Chia acts like a broom that “sweeps” your stomach of undigested food.

3. Chia seeds provide fiber. In fact, 25 grams of chia seeds give you 6.9 grams of fiber.  In addition to fiber, chia seeds are also good source of protein, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium zinc, and copper,  magnesium, manganese,  iron, molybdenum, and niacin (Chia Seed as a Source of Oil, Polysaccharide, and Protein. Journal of Food Scienc 46, Issue 5 25 AUG 2006)

4. Chia seeds provide hydration & energy. Historically,  the Aztecs and Mayans were an important diet of their warriors. Legend has it that their warriors and messengers rationed these seeds as a nutritional source as they hiked up and down the mountains. Chia seeds are great for energy storage and hydration because  “chia gel” can hydrate the body. You can make chia gel by soaking chia seeds in water for 15-20 minutes.

5. Chia seeds help reduce blood pressure:There’s evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure. In one study, a group of people with type-2 diabetes consumed chia seeds and later had their blood sugars tested. It later showed that their C-reactive protein, a good marker for cardiovascular risk, dropped by some 40%.

6. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation, such as arthritis and heart disease. In fact, chia seeds contain more Omega-3 than salmon!

7. Chia seeds are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don’t need to be ground up.  As with ground flax seeds, you can sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, in yogurt or salads, eat them as a snack, or grind them and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods.

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Because of its nutritional value and stability, chia is already being added to a range of foods. I expect we’ll soon be hearing much more about chia and its health benefits. Will you be adding  seeds into your daily diet?

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Cristal

Cristal

Online Editor, Beauty Writer at Beauty-Goodies
As a New York City-based registered nurse with backgrounds in pharmacology, medical research, medical spa aesthetics, and cosmetic dermatology, Cristal became interested in the ways people go about achieving beauty. When she's not working full-time at Cornell Medical Center or performing aesthetic treatments at a midtown NYC medical spa, she daylights as a beauty writer, and has a penchant for scoring sample sale treasures, bellydancing, playing dress-up, and of course, chatting about beauty goodies.
Cristal

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