What Are Chia Seeds?
You’ve probably heard about chia seeds in recent years. The healthy food craze that has taken over big parts of the world has “introduced” the seeds to our diets. Everyone knows they’re healthy, but have no idea what they really are or how powerful they are.
Chia seeds are edible seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant. The plant is native to Central America. The seeds are tiny and oval in size, with a gray-black color. They have hydrophilic properties, meaning they expand when soaked in liquid.
The seeds aren’t a miraculous discovery now. In fact, their origins can be traced back to pre-Columbian times, making them one of the world’s oldest foods. Although they were a part of the common diet in the past, we’ve only now begun to understand how healthy and powerful the seeds are.
What Makes Them So Healthy?
The seeds are full of essential nutrients, mainly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These unsaturated fats can be found in kiwi, fish oil, flax seeds, and chia seeds among other foods. Both are important for our overall health, but the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the human body seems to be even more important.
Chia seeds contain the highest amount of these fatty acids in nature. These compounds have been associated with a number of health benefits, mainly anti-inflammatory and digestion-boosting properties. They’ve been touted as great food for our hearts and are excellent for our digestion as well.
Usually, doctors recommend the seeds as a way to treat digestive problems. As we already mentioned, they are great for our digestion and will provide the body with high amounts of fiber. This means they will keep you satisfied for quite a long time, so you’ll eat less and start losing weight. When you put the seeds in water or yogurt, they will expand and form a gel-like solution that will easily move through your digestive tract and clean it at the same time. The gel will also prevent carbs from breaking down too fast, which will result in much better digestion.
A Natural Powerhouse
The gluten-free seeds were a staple in the diet of Aztecs. Thanks to the presence of 19 amino acids and other nutrients, we could base our diet on chia seeds and live off them completely. Regarding the nutrients, the seeds have 8 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids than what salmon contains; 20% protein; extremely high amounts of fiber; antioxidants; more calcium than milk; more potassium than bananas, and more iron than spinach.
Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse great for our heart, skin, hair, and nails, which is why they should become a part of your diet.
How to Consume Chia Seeds
It’s simple – you can just add them in anything or mix them with water or fresh fruit juice. Add them to salads, soups or stews. Whatever you choose, you can bet they will give your health a nice boost.