Chia seeds are an ancient super food that has been used by the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. In fact, Chia means “strength” in the language of the Mayans, and was considered running food because messengers could run all day with the help of these tiny seeds. Chia seeds were considered medicine and were actually prized more than gold due to their incredible health enhancing properties.
Chia seeds are high in:
- ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid.
(In fact chia seeds contain more Omega-3′s than any other plant source, including flaxseed).
It’s easy to get mixed up between omega-3 and omega-6; basically, omega-3 acids are the fats which are not so easy to come by. They’re in fish oils, flax seeds, kiwi seeds, and chia seeds, amongst other things. Omega-6, on the other hand, is found almost everywhere you look: nuts, vegetable oils, avocadoes, etc. As important as omega-6 oils are to our health, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is equally important. As it is so easy to consume plenty of omega-6, it is very easy to end up with an unbalanced consumption of the two types of oils, which are also known as essential oils. When it comes to the amount of omega-3 oil in various seed oils, the chia seed has the highest content, just above kiwi seeds, perilla and flax.
An ounce of chia seeds contains 137 calories, and will get you four grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber.
What makes the Chia Seed the super food that many claim it to be?
- 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This provides the nice balance those who take supplemental Essential Fatty Acids are looking for. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.
- You do not need to grind the Chia Seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds.
- Chia seeds are a complete source of protein. They actually have 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain.
- They are one of the best sources of fiber. They are fabulous colon cleansers and actually clear out the digestive tract so that you absorb more nutrients and eliminate waste more efficiently. It also prevents indigestion and heartburn without risk of harmful side effects.
- This is a super food for diabetics because they help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Chia seeds are great for weight loss because they easily bulk up the food without changing the taste. Because the carbohydrates re released incredibly slow, it make people feel full. They also bulk up and cleanse the body of old “junk” so the body can detox and lose weight.
- These tiny seeds have are packed with calcium, and they also contain boron which is a trace mineral that helps calcium get into your bones.
- This super seed is a seriously potent antioxidant; in fact, it has 3 times more antioxidant activity than blueberries. Not only does this help you to fight disease and defy age naturally, it also keeps the chia seeds from going off like other seeds such as flax.
- Chias have 3 more iron than spinach, which is needed to carry oxygen from the lungs into the muscles and organs.
- They are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia Seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
- Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.
- The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!
- Chia is a great addition to a detoxification program. Chia seeds are high in fiber and in healthy oils making them an excellent addition to many detox programs.