What are Chia Seeds
I was inspired to pass on my new found fascination with chia seeds after I added them to my diet and lost more than ten pounds without making any other changes. Along with weight loss, there are many other health benefits of chia seeds.
The seeds, native to South America, were a dietary staple for the Aztecs and the Mayans.
Spanish conquistadors destroyed most of the chia fields but pockets remained and were further cultivated.
Chia seeds are known as the "running food" because of their slow and constant release of energy.
Legend says that Aztec warriors lived on nothing but chia seeds and water during battle and prolonged hunting expeditions. It is said that one tablespoon of the seeds could sustain them for an entire day.
The seeds were offered up as a tribute to the gods during religious ceremonies.
Today, the seeds are grown commercially and are a favorite with many endurance athletes.
Chia Seeds and Weight Loss
So, how can chia seeds help me lose weight?
Chia seeds are very low in sodium, so you wont get the "salt bloat".
They help stabalize blood sugar, which helps ward off hunger and those insatiable cravings for sweets or starchy foods.
That means your food is turned into a steady flow of energy, instead of up and down spikes.
Other Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are very rich in Omega-3 oils, but without the fishy taste or smell. In fact, by weight, chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon. The oil is linked to heart health and low cholesterol levels. Chia seeds are also high in calcium, potassium and iron as well as other vitamins and minerals.
They are also high in anti-oxidants that help protect your body against free radicals which inflame and age the body.
They increase energy and endurance levels. (The Aztecs knew when they had a good thing) They also speed up recovery time and reduce inflammation after a workout. Because of their superb hydration quality, chia seeds are very popular with endurance athletes.
They can be eaten by people who are allergic to nuts and other seeds.
They aid in digestive health. The gel keeps the digestive track well lubricated and the seed coating, which is insoluble, acts as a scrubber through the intestines and bowels, keeping you well regulated. The action also helps remove toxins from the body.
Chia is an ideal food for vegetarians. It contains the highest plant based source of complete protein. Chia can also be used to replace many harmful and fattening oils in cooking.
Consumption of chia seeds is also associated with lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increased mental performance, improved thyroid function and better sleep.
Ina study conducted by the University of Toronto, researchers split 21 diabetic patients into two groups. One group received a chia supplement. The other received a supplement of another high fiber grain. The patients eating chia saw their blood pressure drop 10 points diastolic and 5 points systolic in just three months. The other group had no change in their blood pressure.
It's little wonder chia seeds are touted as a superfood.
Where to Buy Chia Seeds
You can buy chia seeds at most health food stores or order them online through Amazon by clicking on this link.
Most chia seeds are grown organically.
They are inexpensive.
Chia seeds need no refrigeration and can last on the shelf for years.
They can be stored in a jar on the kitchen counter or in your office desk so they are in handy reach to be added to foods and beverages.
Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet
In recipes that require butter or oil, replace half of those ingredients with chia seeds soaked in water until they become gelatinous. It's a great way to reduce calories and add high nutritional content to your cooking or baking.
Chia seeds can be added to yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal and peanut butter.
They can be sprinkled on salads or cereal.
They can be added to soups and puddings.
Chia seeds can be incorporated into recipes for cookies, muffins and breads.
This is my favorite chia seed recipe:
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or fozen)
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 scoop low fat vanilla flavored whey protein powder
1/2 cup water
2 ice cubes (optional)
Put the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.
I drink this every morning and I feel full and energized well into the afternoon.
Order your chia seeds here
Amazon Price: $8.99 Buy Now
(price as of Mar 30, 2016)
90% soluble fiber
Beneficial for your digestive track
People use the seeds when they are involved in sports or physical activities for endurance