Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia Hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family native to central and southern Mexico
A staple in the ancient Aztec and Mayan diets, these unremarkable black and white seeds are steeped in the annals of history. From its use in medicinal practices and religious rituals to now, being labelled as a 'superfood', chia seeds have come a long way! Chia seeds are not only rich in minerals, omega-3 fat, antioxidants, and fiber but also easy to prepare. They can be had raw, soaked, or sprinkled over baked goods and fritters.
The greatest compliment that one could shower on chia seeds is the fact that it just doesn't do one thing well, but that it does everything equally well. Rich in protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and, dietary fiber, these have a high tenacity to soak up water and oil. But why stop there, for it is also rich in antioxidants, essential minerals, and vitamins all very important for the functioning of the human body. Chia seeds are great but fair warning, they do bloat you up if you overindulge in them. The daily recommended dosage of chia is 20 grams or roughly 1.5 tablespoons, served twice a day. Owing to its nutritional value, it becomes the perfect breakfast food and here are 5 reasons why you should incorporate it at the beginning of the day.
1. Rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants benefit human health by neutralizing reactive molecules known as free radicals, which can damage cell from oxidative stress. Free radicals are caused by pollutants of all kind, harmful rays of the sun, smoking, and so on. They speed up the process of aging and can even cause cancer, if ignored for extended periods of time.
2. Supports weight-loss
The fiber content of chia seeds helps in trimming down the extra weight. Chia seeds are almost 35% fiber by weight, which keeps the gut filled and satiated. The urge or appetite for reaching out to other foods is curbed since chia is whole grain food source which releases energy steadily rather than all at once.
3. Lowers blood sugar levels
Chia seeds are a complete food source filled with complex carbohydrates which keeps the blood sugar levels in check. They are also rich in fiber which contributes to keeping the blood sugar levels down. Consistent rise in blood sugar levels lead to diabetes and a host of bodily complications from the heart, to the kidneys.
4. Aids cardiac health
The specific antioxidants in chia seeds include chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. All of them have protective effects on your heart and on other organs of the body. They help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, therefore lowering the risk of any cardiac related problems.
5. Beneficial to the bones
Chia seeds are also good sources of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, all of which is required to maintain good bone density and bone health. Regularly eating chia seeds is highly beneficial to maintain bone mineral density, an indicator of bone strength.