There are many great benefits of chia seeds that I’m sure you didn’t know about. Although chia seeds are indigenous to Latin America, especially to Guatemala and Mexico and despite the fact that the seeds have been a staple food in the Aztec and Mayan diets for many centuries, this superfood has only recently gained popularity in the Western world. Chia seeds are high in numerous nutrients, minerals and powerful antioxidants and they can be used in cooking in many different ways. Below is the list of several wonderful benefits of chia seeds.
1. Help control blood sugar
One of the best health benefits of chia seeds is that it controls your blood sugar and can help fight diabetes. Numerous studies have shown that this superfood can prevent or treat type 2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down a digestive system. When chia seeds are exposed to liquid, they form a gelatinous coating that keeps the blood sugar from spiking.
2. High in essential minerals and powerful antioxidants
Chia seeds contain powerful antioxidants, which protect your body against free radical damage. They are also rich in essential minerals – 2 tbsp. contain 18% of the DRI for calcium, 50% for manganese, 24% for magnesium and 35% for phosphorus. In fact, chia seeds contain 3 times more iron than raw spinach, 7 times more vitamin C than oranges and 2 times more potassium than banana. Chia seeds have a really long shelf life. You can keep them almost 2 years without refrigeration.
3. Build strong bones and teeth
Consuming chia seeds will help you to have stronger teeth and bones due to their high calcium content. One serving of these seeds will provide you about 18% of recommended daily amount of calcium. Chia seeds contain 5 times more calcium than milk. It’s one of the reasons why you should add this superfood to your diet.
4. High in protein
Chia seeds are rich in protein and it means you’ll feel full longer after your meals and they’ll also reduce your cravings between the most important meals of the day. One serving contains about 10% of recommended daily amount of protein. Proteins help build and maintain body tissues and make new cells, so it’s a good idea to add chia seeds to your healthy diet.
5. Help lose weight
If you are trying to lose those unwanted pounds, these tiny seeds can really help. The thing is, chia seeds bind together and form a gelatinous coating when they are exposed to liquid, and they expand in your stomach, just like rice. This means you will feel fuller much longer. Also, chia seeds contain tryptophan that helps regulate your appetite and boost your mood as well as help promote better sleep at night.
6. They’re gluten free
Chia seeds are absolutely gluten free, however, they still provide the benefits and texture of grains. Since gluten intolerance is becoming a great problem these days in the whole world, I think it’s worth adding these wonderful seeds to your eating plan.
7. Excellent replacement for eggs
As I mentioned above, when chia seeds mix with liquid, their outer layer swells forming a gelatinous mixture that can be used instead of eggs. It reduces cholesterol and increases the nutrient content of the food. If you want to make an egg replacement, you will need to mix 1 tbsp. of chia seeds with 3 tbsp. of water and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes.
8. Improve brain function
Finally, chia seeds contain an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids, which must be an essential part of your eating plan. Due to this chia seeds help improve your brain function, reduce inflammation and can help fight obesity, depression, arthritis and diabetes.
Chia seeds boast a plethora of wonderful benefits and I mentioned only several of them. If you know any other benefits of chia seeds, please, share them with us.