How to Consume Chia Seeds
Adding Chia Seeds is as easy as sprinkling it over cereal, yogurts or salads. It can also be eaten raw on its own or soaked in juice. The seeds are relatively bland and therefore they can be added to many dishes without changing the flavors. Chia Seed can be used as an egg substitute or as a sauce thickener. Any way that you decide to add it to your meals you will obtain the omega 3 6 9 fatty acids.
How to Use Chia Seeds
It is easy to incorporate Chia Seeds in a healthy diet. Chia Seeds are consumed raw so there is no need to grind or cook them. This is the reason that its consumption is becoming more and more popular. No matter what time of the day it is, you can increase the nutritional value by simply sprinkling chia seeds on any meal or drink.
The mild, nutty flavor of Chia Seeds goes well with sweet and savory dishes. Chia is increasingly being used in chia seed puddings, smoothies, energy bars, granola, baked goods and sprinkled on top of porridge salads, and drinks.
The recommended amount of Chia Seed that should be consumed by a healthy adult that is trying to obtain all the nutrients that chia offers is 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. It is recommended that children consume 1 tablespoon per day.
When using chia for weight loss, heart health or exercise performance it is recommended to take 3 table spoons daily to see results.
It is important to remember that it is beneficial to incorporate exercise and a healthy diet to see true results.
Research shows that Omega-3 is essential to the human body because it helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol and increases HDL (good cholesterol). This is essential for a healthy heart because it helps maintain proper artery function. Chia Seed has both omega-3 ALA and DHA which are vital in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lower Blood Pressure
Chia Seeds are high in Linoleic Acid (LA) which is yet another fatty acid that helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K that would otherwise be lost. Boasting these fats is essential in releasing the inflammation that can cause strain on blood vessels and lead to high blood pressure and an unhealthy heart.
Chia seeds can help prevent diabetes since they are rich in alpha-linolenic acid and fiber. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that in a study including 20 participants with diabetes, Chia Seed helped the participants control blood glucose and lower blood pressure. Eating a recommended amount of Chia Seed also helped lower triglycerides (blood fat levels).
One of the reasons that Chia Seed is so good for the digestive system is due to the amount of fiber that it contains. Every tablespoon of Chia Seed contains 11 grams of fiber. Per dietitians one serving of Chia Seed can provide the recommended quantity of fiber necessary for a day. Having the necessary amount of fiber helps promote bowel regularity and helps avoid constipation. Chia Seed will also form a gel like substance when it is consumed and the digestive system can use it as prebiotic which aids in the growth of probiotics in the gut.
Improve Exercise Performance, Energy Boost & Metabolism
Chia was used in a study which compared a sports drink often used by athletes and a drink mix using Chia Seeds, in both situations athletes could complete their exercise routine equally. Per the study, Chia allows athletes to carbo load for endurance while increasing their nutrients. Consuming Chia Seed allows athletes to avoid consuming unnecessary amounts of sugar while increasing consumption of nutrients.
There is research that shows that that a drink containing chia can provide the same amount of energy and endurance that a sugar filed drink would provide. In addition, Chia Seed can help boost metabolism and reduce visceral adipose tissue (belly fat).
Build Muscle & Loose Fat
Chia Seed can help curve cravings because once it is consumed it will absorb a considerable amount of water and expand in the stomach. This allows us to eat food that will provide the nutrition for our bodies but that might not be so filling. Achieving the feeling of fullness can also curve junk food cravings.
A tablespoon of Chia Seed contains at least 18% of the daily amount of Calcium. To maintain healthy bones, Calcium must constantly available. Chia Seed also contains boron which is not very often heard of but very important for bone health. Boron helps metabolize Calcium, Manganese and Phosphorous which helps bones and muscle remain strong as we age.
Skin Repair & Aging Prevention
Chia Seed is the perfect supplement in a daily diet that can help achieve healthier skin because of all the antioxidants it contains. Researchers have uncovered that Chia contains natural phenolic concentrations two times higher than what had recently been reported. Antioxidants speed up the skin repair system and even prevent further aging. Consuming a recommended serving of Chia Seed can aid in preventing premature skin aging that would occur due to inflammation.
Fight Breast & Cervical Cancer
The Omega-3 ALA fatty acid that Chia Seed contains helps to contain the development of breast and cervical cancer cells. Many studies show that the ALA fatty acids cause death to cancerous cells but not to normal cells.
One of the most important things to maintaining a healthy smile is to make sure that Calcium, Phosphorous, Vitamin A and Zinc are constantly provided. Chia Seeds are packed with these nutrients and can easily provide the necessary nutrients that are necessary for tooth health. Zinc, which is also found in Chia, can prevent tarter and plaque because of its antibacterial effect that helps keep bad breath and germs away.
Sources of Information
Cutler, R. G. (1991, January 01). Antioxidants and aging. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/53/1/373S.short
Illian, T. G., J. C. Casey, and P. A. Bishop. “Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading.” Journal of strength and conditioning research. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
Ayerza, J. R., & Coates, W. (n.d.). Effect of dietary alpha-linolenic fatty acid derived from chia when fed as ground seed, whole seed and oil on lipid content and fatty acid composition of rat plasma. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17356263
Ames, B. N., & Shigenaga, A. M. (n.d.). Oxidants, antioxidants, and the degenerative diseases of aging. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from http://www.pnas.org/content/90/17/7915.short
Leidy, H. J., Tang, M., Armstrong, C. L., Martin, C. B., & Campbell, W. W. (2011, April). The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Retrieved March 22, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847729
Nettleton, Jennifer A., Nicola M. McKeown, Stavroula Kanoni, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, Marie-France Hivert, Julius Ngwa, Frank J.A. Van Rooij, Emily Sonestedt, Mary K. Wojczynski, Zheng Ye, Tosh Tanaka, and The CHARGE Whole Grain Foods Study Group. “Interactions of Dietary Whole-Grain Intake With Fasting Glucose– and Insulin-Related Genetic Loci in Individuals of European Descent.” Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association, 01 Dec. 2010. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
Toscano, L. T., C. S. Da, A. E. De, C. Santos, and A. S. Silva. “Chia flour supplementation reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects.” Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands). U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
Chia Seed is considered one of the worlds oldest forms of nutrition, it originates from the plant Salvia Hispanica which is closely related to mint. It is said to date back to 3500BC and due its unique characteristics, Chia was an important food and medicinal source for Mayans and Aztecs. The word Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. Aztec warriors relied on Chia Seeds to boost energy and increase stamina. Often Chia would be carried on long trips and would serve as a high-energy food or as an offering during religious ceremonies.
When Spanish conquerors land in the 1500’s many of the foods that were considered to have religious significance like Chia were banned. Thus, Chia was consciously eliminated and only survived in the regional of Mexico. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that a group of American and South American scientists began collaborating in commercial production of chia in the hopes of rediscovering the long lost nutritional power seeds.