Chia seeds labelled as “superfood” obtained from chia plant (Salvia hispanica) a species of mint family, draws its origin from Guatemala and Mexico. Economic history shows that it has been cultivated as a staple crop by Mayans and Azetcs. According to the ancient Mayan language the word “Chia” refers to “strength” as it was considered an determinant factor for providing stamina to the warriors during the wars.
The novelty of its existence as a plant pet in 1980’s made a strong resurgence a decade later as a health food. In the quest of finding appropriate nourishment for our body ,the prevalence of chia seeds as a healthy food has drawn great attention. The incredible source of nutrients found in these tiny, oval shaped ,black to grey or black or white spotted seeds with size ranging from 1-2 mm , provide omnipotent nourishment. Chia seeds being rich in fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acid &omega-6fatty acid) and (saturated and unsaturated fatty acids),proteins ,minerals, dietary fibers and anti-oxidants are beneficial for health in numerous ways. It not just serves as a source of food satiation to eliminate food craving to reduce the appetite but also has great expectations based on the marketers and people’s views. The article points out the potential health benefits associated with Chia seeds.
Here are the 5 health benefits of these mystical seeds attributed to its properties
With so many people in cue simply to throw up their hands and decide that they might as well just eat whatever’s in front of them. Infomercials for exercise gadgets, advertisements for pills, diet trends and even medical breakthroughs that make vague promises to shed unwanted pounds- perhaps contradict each other. Thereafter, Chia seeds have been long placed in health food circles. These tiny seeds have an miraculous effect on cutting down extra pounds from your body. The testimonials, reviews and results from the people who consume these unappetizing looking seeds has made the intake of these seeds more viable. Chia seeds are moderately rich in calories and the omega-3 fatty acid content and its fibers make them efficient in weight loss.
But the question that poses a problem is, how to incorporate these nutritional powerhouses into our regular diet?
So here are some simple yet extra beneficial measures to cut down the extra pounds from your body using chia seeds.
- They can be included in recipes.
- Chia puddings, blueberry chia muffins are some weight loss friendly recipes.
- They can be sprinkled over in yogurt and oatmeal.
- Yogurt been known as a probiotic and Chia seeds as an excellent source of antioxidant– together makes this a super food.
- They can also be consumed as whole, soaked or ground.
- Scientific research has proven that ground Chia seeds are more beneficial.
- Debloating beverages sold in market such as the flavored Chia drinks are marketed as weight loss drinks.
- Readymade products such as snack bars(gluten free) are also sold commercially as weight loss products. The laud of Chia seeds sold as as a weight loss products commercially is because they can expand multiple size in water and help you to feel for longer time.
- Yet, just relying on these measures won’t help, unless you don’t follow a balanced diet and healthy routine.
With the upsurge in the rise of people suffering from diabetes, with an increment as recorded by WHO from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. And also with three -fold rise in child diabetes , the measures for its prevention has become much of interest nowadays. Type 2 diabetes is the most pronounced type of diabetes with 85-90 percent among all cases of diabetes.
The intensification in popularity of fast foods which are fundamental of highly processed “bad” sugars and high amount of saturated fatty acids, are the main inducements for type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes the body becomes incapable of producing insulin or the insulin produced is inefficient. Even though diabetes cannot be cured but its early diagnosis can help to reduce the risk factor and prevent certain health complications. Surprisingly , chia seeds have found an role in prevention and management of type2 diabetes. Raw Chia seeds satiate the need of diabetic patients as they are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids and coupled with extremely low glycemic index that would retard the absorption of complex carbohydrates as it forms a exclusive mechanism to prevent insulin resistance .The seeds form a gel when they come in contact with digestive fluids of body, thus decelerating the breakdown of carbohydrates and becomes competent in stabilization of blood sugar level. Thereafter it helps to reduce the contingency of heart diseases. In the most simple and efficient ways they could be added in water, juice, any other thick liquid or can be preferably added to your daily diet in any other way.
The superstition that it is a magic ,how just two tablespoons of tiny chia seeds can manage the high level of cholesterol in people is merely an aptitude of the power of the constituents of Chia seeds. The omega-3 fatty acids especially the alpha linolenic acid accompanied by antioxidants and mineral content incorporate together to lower the cholesterol level. And since they could be added in any recipe they became more significant in purpose.
The versatility of Chia seeds has also made its way in prevention of hormone related cancers.
The philanthropic studies in prevention of cancer have shown that the oil of these seeds along with alpha linolenic acid also have lignan (phytoestrogens) which reduce the risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer. Significant studies have also shown that alpha linolenic acid can cause apostasis of tumor cells without harming the normal cells. But high dietary intake may be problematic, so dosage must be regulated.
Benefits in digestion and detox
Another incredible benefit of Chia seeds is pertinent with its fiber content. The high fiber content is an aid to proper digestive function and healthy bowel function . The insoluble fiber would add bulk to the fecal matter, thereby making its way through the gut easily and prevent constipation.
Thus, with the increase in demand of Chia seeds as functional food with variegated health effects , proves that it has a promising future in commercial application and great marketing potential.