Chia seeds: the surprising health benefits

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chia seeds

Chia seeds began to become popular among healthy foods a few years ago when the big food producers chose to add these small seeds in the composition of several products – bread, yogurt, drinks. Although small in size, chia seeds have many positive effects on the body when included in the daily diet.

The origin of chia seeds

Chia, in the scientific name “Salvia hispanica”, comes from Mexico and Guatemala and is a plant related to Romanian mint. It is used especially for seeds, which have special nutritional values.

In the Mayan language, the term “chia” translates to “power”, and the seeds of the plant have been included in the diet of the Aztecs and Mayans since ancient times. However, as old as the use of chia seeds in Central and South America is, so new is their inclusion in modern cuisine. Chia seeds can be white or black, if they are brown they have not yet reached maturity, they are raw.

What are the benefits of consuming chia seeds?

Due to the many nutrients it contains, chia seeds bring more benefits to the body.

Strong antioxidant effect – chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals, preventing and helping to treat diseases such as cancer.

Improve digestion – chia seeds are high in fiber, so they help the body balance insulin levels. At the same time, they regulate intestinal transit and provide the feeling of satiety, increasing greatly in volume once ingested. Because chia seeds turn into a gelatinous substance once they reach the stomach, they work like a prebiotic.

It helps you lose weight – most nutritionists claim that chia seeds help in the fight against extra pounds, so it is advisable to include them in your diet if you have weight problems.

Helps diabetics – rich in alpha-linolenic acids and fiber, chia seeds help treat metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia, but also to treat insulin resistance.

Strengthens bones – an amount of only 30 grams of chia seeds comes with 18% of the recommended daily dose of calcium. Calcium is essential in maintaining healthy bones and helps strengthen them.

Beneficial for dental health – also due to the high calcium intake, chia seeds keep your teeth strong and healthy. The amount of zinc in chia seeds also contributes to maintaining oral health, having a strong antibacterial effect.

Improve athletic performance – chia seeds can successfully replace the energy drinks consumed by athletes during demanding sports activities. According to studies in the field, chia seeds provide the necessary amount of carbohydrates to increase endurance.

How to consume chia seeds

Chia seeds can be eaten raw, but also cooked, in several forms:

  • Hydrated in water or milk and consumed as such in salads
  • Ground and consumed in smoothies
  • In powder form and added in various preparations
  • In the form of flour and used in cooking desserts consume chia seeds

What is the recommended daily dose of chia seeds

Healthy and full-bodied, chia seeds seem to be eaten without any restrictions. However, given their nutritional values ​​and the other needs of our body, as well as other sources from which we can procure certain nutrients daily, it is enough to consume two tablespoons of chia seeds a day.

What contraindications do chia seeds have

When we talk about contraindications, the most important aspect to consider is the quantity. In too high a dose, even the healthiest substances can become harmful. Chia seeds have few contraindications, 1-2 tablespoons can be consumed daily without problems, but it is preferable to avoid these seeds:

  • People suffering from hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Those who have digestive problems and already consume a lot of fiber in one day

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