Among the nutrition-conscious, Chia seeds are the latest addition among the new super foods to come into our tables. It had been touted as a very important food group since the ancient Aztec civilizations of Guatemala and Mexico. Recently, it is considered an alternative food crop in Argentina.
The seeds are nutritionally rich in proteins, don’t contain cholesterol, and have a bounty of such beneficial vitamins and minerals as manganese, niacin, selenium, potassium, B vitamins, biotin, thiamin and calcium. Best of all, they are also one of the very best sources of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
For comparison purposes, Chia seeds contain 3 times the iron in spinach, 5 times the calcium in milk, 7 times vitamin C in an orange, and 15 times magnesium in broccoli.
From the list of its nutritional properties alone, the seeds have a formidable array of health keepers and builders. Aside from them, they also have some specific health benefits. The first one is improving brain function.
The omega-3 ALA in Chia seeds is being used by the brain to manufacture DHA fatty acids which are necessary for better brain work. The seeds also have the complete 9 amino acids for normal body and brain functions. The antioxidants in the seeds help in the fight against the destructive free radicals.
With flavonols and other anti-oxidants, Chia seeds help in the reduction of inflammation in the body. With inflammation linked to other health issues, this health property is a boon to pain sufferers like arthritis patients, for instance.
With its high omega-3 content, the seeds help in the lubrication of the joints of patients. The omega-3 is also converted to prostaglandins that are known pain relievers and anti-inflammatory agents.
One of the biggest attractions that Chia seeds have among nutritionists and health-conscious people is their main ability to help the body digest other foods. With its natural soluble high fiber content, the seeds help in keeping the other foods in the stomach pass through the gut easily, and keep the colon relatively free from destructive elements.
Chia seeds also contain the beneficial mucilage type of special food fiber. These are the types of fiber found in okra, flax seeds and aloe vera. These stringy fibers are needed in the survival of the gut bacteria that are also crucial in the digestive processes in our guts.
Improves heart health
Chia seeds are found to help improve blood pressure in diabetics. They may also help increase healthy cholesterol and lower LDL and triglyceride cholesterol which are all beneficial to the heart.
It had also been found that the seeds can control a person’s blood sugar. Whether one is diabetic or not, the seeds can help in keeping the blood sugar at a good level. This is done by slowing down the speed of glucose that flows into the blood stream. For diabetics, the good news is that the sugar comes from the carbohydrates supplied by the seeds’ fiber.
All in all, Chia seeds contain some of the necessary nutrients the body needs from just one source. The vitamins and minerals in the seeds are in considerable quantities that can bring the healthy results quite fast and effective.