There’s no doubt you’ve seen the health-claimed headlines about one of our planets healthiest seed. Chia seeds, tiny black seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant, are a member of the mint family. Originally grown in Central and South America, chia seeds have gained the world’s attention and dominated North America’s health industry thanks to a powerful nutrient profile. In ancient times, legend has it that Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy, and thousands of years later, chia has become a staple in cupboards internationally. Here are four health benefits of chia seeds that everyone needs to know about.
- High Source of Fiber
Fiber is an essential part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Chia seeds are rich in fiber and contain approximately 9 grams of fiber per 25 gram serving. Seeing as the daily recommended amount of fiber is 30 grams a day, consuming chia seeds make it easy to reach your daily dose of fiber, promoting a healthy digestive tract. Dietary fiber is known to prevent constipation, and because it can’t be absorbed into your body like fats, proteins and carbohydrates, fiber passes through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. The fiber in chia seeds normalizes bowel movements and helps maintain overall bowel health, lowers cholesterol, helps control blood sugar levels, and can help you achieve a healthy weight, thus promoting longevity and decreasing the risk of disease or illness. Alongside a high amount of fiber, chia seeds contain a good amount of protein, healthy fat, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B3, potassium, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important to consume for brain and heart health. Mostly derived from animal products like fish, it can be hard to find an ingredient with omega-3 fatty acids if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. Thankfully, chia seeds are one of the many superfoods that contain omega-3 fatty acids to promote better health and prevent the developments of chronic disease. In fact, sixty per cent of the oil found in chia seeds are from omega-3 fatty acids; linoleic and alpha-linolenic fatty acids. Consuming foods with high omega-3 fatty acids has shown to benefit cardiovascular health, regulate blood pressure, prevent blood clots and decrease inflammation caused by free-radicals in the body. Individuals who consume a well-balanced diet should definitely add chia seeds to their grocery list to reap the health benefits of this amazing superfood.
- Aids in Weight-Loss
Packed with protein and essential amino acids, chia seeds make a great addition to your diet if you’re focusing on getting in shape. Protein has various health benefits but it’s also one of the most effective weight loss friendly dietary staples. Indulging in chia seeds can lower appetite, and protein in general has been proven to reduce thoughts about food by a whopping 60 per cent, including reducing night time snacking. Out of all plant foods, chia seeds have one of the highest protein contents. Additionally, the high fiber content in chia seeds can also help aid in weight loss. Chia seeds contain a high level of soluble fiber, which absorbs large amounts of water in your stomach and increases fullness to slow the absorption of food. In a recent study, chia seeds were proven to increase satiety and reduce food intake when consumed for breakfast. The next time you make a bowl of oatmeal or a morning smoothie, sprinkle some chia seeds on top for an added protein boost.
- Reduces Risk of Illness
Research shows that chia can help minimize the risk of diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, oxidative stress, and blood clotting. As well, chia seeds make a healthy natural laxative, can boost vision and immunity, and also relieve mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression. Chia seeds are also known for decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowering blood pressure and preventing illness from most conditions relating to free radicals in the body like cancer. Plus, chia seeds are loaded with calcium, which helps enhance better bone health. Chia seeds can be consumed cooked or raw, and it’s popular to soak them in liquid to create a pudding or delicious drink. Fun fact: chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, and they’re a great egg replacement for vegan baking recipes.
Next time you’re at the store, grab a package of organic chia seeds and refer to Nagi (https://eatnagi.com/collections/) if you’re looking to add more chia in your life! Our energy bars contain superfoods including chia seeds, and we know you’re going to love them.