Chia seeds have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out chia seeds are a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants.
Benefits to Chia:
1. Help weight loss:
Chia seeds are popular for 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 them a great diet helper
2. Feel fuller faster:
They can also help your diet by making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.
3. Hydration for athletes:
They are also great for athletes because the "chia gel" can hydrate the body.
Reduce your blood pressure: There's evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure.
They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation- such as arthritis and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
5. Benefits for diabetes:
Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
6. Easier to digest:
They are easy to digest than flax seeds and don't need to be ground up.
Even with all the health benefits, there is a right and wrong way of eating Chia Seeds. Soaking Chia seeds in water before you eat them is safe; after they're soaked, Chia seeds develop a gelatinous coating that some raw foodists believe helps them to move swiftly through the digestive tract. Other evidence suggests that consuming ground Chia Seeds rather than whole seeds, allows significantly more ALA (the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids) to reach the bloodstream.
When they're included in a recipe, our bodies can digest chia seeds whole (an appropriate quantity, of course), soaked, or ground in order to reap their health benefits.
If you're ready to get these nutrient-rich seeds into your diet, these recipe ideas will help you out.
Chia pudding: Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a make-ahead pudding that works great for breakfast. Mix together the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and look forward to a special treat the next day. It's that easy.
Debloating beverage: If you've been feeling sluggish and bloated, it's time for a new morning ritual that includes Chia. Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters starts the day with this before breakfast, pre-workout drink (coconut water, Chia Seeds and your favorite that only calls for three ingredients. These chia seeds are combined with water, making this a much safer alternative to consuming chia and chasing it down with water.
Blueberry chia muffins: Blueberry muffins get an upgrade with this chia-filled recipe for extra nutrient power. They're baked into the batter, so you can't even taste them.
Antioxidant berry smoothie: If you find their crunchy texture a little off-putting on their own, try tossing them into this refreshing morning smoothie. High in vitamin C and boasting more than 10 grams of fiber, this antioxidant breakfast blend will become your new favorite recipe.
Sprinkled on yogurt: If you're looking for a quick omega-3 punch in your snack, you can simply sprinkle a teaspoon of seeds on your fruit, mix them into your yogurt, or make a delicious combination of the two!
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