Chia (salvia hispanica) is native to southern and central Mexico and Guatemala. It was cultivated by the Aztecs who considered it a superfood. Aztec warriors were said to have sustained themselves for an entire day on a single tablespoon of chia seeds. Chia seeds disappeared from the region after the Spanish conquest because the Spaniards banned foods that were linked to Aztec tradition. Today, chia seeds have seen a resurgence as a superfood and are popular among health-conscious consumers.
Here are eight health benefits of chia seeds.
The most popular health benefit of chia seeds is the fact that they are effective in boosting weight loss efforts. Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber and protein and they also have carbohydrates that are slowly digested. These two factors combine help to curb your appetite and increase fat burning.
As mentioned in the introduction, Aztec warriors were able to sustain themselves for an entire day on one tablespoon of chia seeds. This is because chia seeds are a great source of energy that can help sustain you through hard workouts and other grueling tasks.
High in Omega-3s
The oil in chia seeds is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other food. Omega-3s are essential to the human body and help to prevent many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune disease.
Thanks to their high omega-3 content, chia seeds are the perfect brain food. Many people have found that adding chia seeds to their diet improved memory, concentration, and other cognitive abilities.
Chia seeds are very high in antioxidants; in fact they actually have more antioxidants than blueberries. Eating chia seeds on a regular basis may help to prevent certain health conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
Blood Sugar Control
Chia seeds are a great ingredient for diabetics to use because they help to maintain lower blood sugar levels. It is necessary for diabetics to actively maintain their glucose levels and chia seeds assist in this process.
The high fiber and antioxidants in chia seeds help with detoxification. When fiber is consumed, the body is effectively able to remove waste and toxins from the body. Additionally, antioxidants help with toxin and waste removal as they work to eliminate free radicals.
Eating chia seeds on a regular basis can reduce the inflammation within the body, because chia seeds contain essential fatty acids. High levels of inflammation are associated with many health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and chronic pain.