Who knew the world would transition from laughing at the funny Chia Pets as gag gifts, to now, incorporating the seeds from the same chia plant to enhance our health. Who knew?
Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds. Just one (1) ounce contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of fiber! Grown in Mexico and dating back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures, Chia is an edible seed coming from a flowering plant in the mint family. The mild, nutty flavor makes them easy to add to foods like cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, yogurt, and baked goods. You can even mix them with water or make into a gel.
Make a note. When you are buying your chia seeds, both the white and black seeds are good choices. The red seeds indicate an immature chia seed.
Chia seeds are a BetterChoice because of the many nutritional benefits. However, its important before adding them to your diet, talk with your doctor, especially if you are on high blood pressure medications or blood thinners. Never incorporate something because it’s trendy! You want to make sure that what you are adding to your diet works for you!
Remember, there is no magic bullet, pill shake, food, OR SEED! If you want to create a healthier lifestyle and lose weight, you must incorporate a balance diet with daily, physical activity.
7 Health Benefits Of Adding Chia Seeds To Your Diet:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids — specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.
Fiber: Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.
Antioxidants: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer.
Heart Health: According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol.
Weight Loss: Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.
Minerals: Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.
Blood Sugar Regulation: Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood. The glycemic index of chia seeds is very low, so blood sugar levels don’t spike and crash as with refined carbohydrates.
QUICK TIP: Nutritionists recommend that 15g/0.53oz (one tablespoon) of chia is consumed each day. Be sure to drink plenty of water as chia is very high in fiber.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
Check out these resources:
Visit www.usda.gov for additional information and resources.
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Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.