Chia Seeds Health Benefits

BY David Jockers TIMEJuly 20, 2014 PRINT

SuperCharge Your Health With Chia Seeds!

Chia seeds are an ancient fuel source used for centuries by some of the world’s healthiest people.  These super seeds contain an abundance of life-enhancing nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants.  Super charge your health by incorporating chia seeds in your diet.

Chia seeds are native to South America where they were revered by two of the most powerful tribes: the Aztecs and Mayans.  These tribes considered chia to be more valuable than gold.  The Aztecs would traditionally consume chia for extra energy and stamina before going into battle or before a big hunt.

Chia is easy to grow as it survives in very temperate environments and is quite self-sustaining.  It is hardly bothered by insects and grows very efficiently.  An individual could survive quite well on chia alone due to the rich blend of nutrients it provides.

Chia’s Nutritional Profile

Chia boasts an impressive array of flavonoid and polyphenol anti-oxidants including quercetin, kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid.  It has three times the amount of anti-oxidants as blueberries for equal volume.  Chia is also loaded with the small chain omega-3 fatty acid ALA and soluble and insoluble fibers.  These key nutrients make chia a powerful defense against everyday stress and chronic disease processes.

Improve Blood Sugar Sensitivity

Chia seeds’ nutritional components include healthy fats, anti-oxidants, clean proteins, and fiber. Chia contains no sugar and very minimal amounts of non-fibrous carbohydrates.  Chia also contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.   This combination is perfect for healthy blood sugar levels and sustained energy.  A diet that includes chia seeds is a powerful combatant for diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Healthy Gut Function

The healthy gut bacteria that our digestive system depends upon thrive off of different forms of fiber.  Sugar is the enemy of these life giving microorganisms because it feeds the parasitic organisms that are in competition.  Chia’s makeup of essential fats, anti-parasitic anti-oxidants, and a rich array of fibers is a perfect nutritional blend to build a healthy gut.

The chia fibers are able to absorb ten times their weight in water which helps to hydrate the colon and move toxins out of the gut.  The blend of insoluble and soluble fiber helps to sweep and sponge microorganisms and environmental toxins out of the colon and into the feces.

Boosts Mental Function

Chia is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and nueroprotective anti-oxidants such as quercetin, caffeic, and chlorogenic acid.  These essential fats and anti-oxidants produce cell membranes that are more flexible and efficient.  Healthier cell membranes results in more efficient nutrient delivery systems and faster nerve transmission processes.  This improves brain function including memory and concentration.

Using Chia in Everyday Life

Chia seeds can be used in a wide variety of dishes including soups, no-grain cereals, smoothies ,and baked goods.  They are also a great addition to any salad or veggie sauté.  Many vegans are lacking healthy proteins and fats in their diet while many carnivores lack anti-oxidants and fibers in their diet.  Chia, being a complete protein source, is the perfect addition for both of these groups.

To optimize your health look to add two to four tablespoons of this superfood into your diet daily.  Two tablespoons of chia give you seven grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and five grams of omega 3 fatty acids.  The most bioavailable form of chia is sprouted and enzymatically activated for optimal nutrient delivery.

 *Image of “chia seed pudding” via Shutterstock

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