2013 was definitely the year of the chia seed in the holistic health realm. Many bloggers out there were touting the health benefits of chia seeds recommending we add them to smoothies, baked goods, salads or just eat them by the spoonful. But why? What is the benefit of consuming these tiny little black or white seeds?
Many food historians believe chia was a highly valued food for the Aztec, Incan, and Mayan cultures. ‘Chia’ is the Mayan word for strength and running messengers would carry a small pouch of the seeds with them on deliveries to help maintain energy levels. Although chia is a relatively new product to most of us, it has remained in regular use in its native countries.
Read on to see why you want to add chia seed to your daily diet!
Top 10 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds:
- Huge nutritional profile– Chia contains calcium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. The seed contains a complete source of protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids in an easily digestible form.
- Hydrophilic– Like flax seeds, chia seeds absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and absorb it very rapidly– in under 10 minutes. Because of this, they can be used as an egg replacer for those following a vegan diet or who may have an egg allergy. Smoothies also benefit because not only do chia seeds add nutrition, they can be used to thicken the drinks and make them have a better, creamier mouthfeel. In addition, when ingested, this hydrophilic quality helps you stay hydrated longer.
- Antioxidants– Chia seeds have a huge antioxidant content, nearly 3 times more than the superfood blueberries.
- Stability– Chia and flax seeds can be used in much the same way. Chia, however, has the added benefit of being able to stay stable much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavor, odor, or nutritional value.
- Mild taste– The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. This means that it can be added to baked goods, smoothies, sauces, salads, breads, puddings, and so much more without changing the taste, but adding a huge nutritional punch!
- High fiber content– Chia seeds act as an intestinal broom. When they bulk up, they sweep through your intestinal tract, helping to dislodge and eliminate old accumulated waste. Many people find their stools also become more regular once they eat chia.
- Inexpensive– Chia is a very reasonably priced food. Often times holistic foods and treatments are very expensive, and here is a pleasant exception. Considering the awesome nutritional punch and the low price, it is wise to begin incorporating them into your diet.
- Virtually allergen free– These seeds are gluten free, nut free, dairy free, vegan, soy free… most anyone with food allergies or intolerances can enjoy the health benefits of Chia.
- High fiber content– Just a 28 gram/ 1 oz serving of chia as 11 grams of fiber– about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding this seed to your diet is an easy and tasty way to make sure you are getting a good amount of fiber which is important for digestive health.
- Get full faster– Tryptophan, is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner, also helps to regulate appetite, sleep and improve moods.
Now go out and find some Chia seeds to add to dinner tonight!
Elwin is also the Founder of Complete Detox Academy, Taoist Health Academy, the Health Coaching Institute and High Energy Academy, as well as the author of 'the Easy Exhaustion Cure' and 'the 4 Step Safe and Effective Detox Action Plan'.
Elwin is highly Enthusiastic about empowering people to feel Energized, Joyful and Alive, Naturally and Sustainably, and has worked over 5 years with over 1000 clients towards this goal. Elwin is particularly passionate about working with clients who are highly committed to reaching high levels of Health, Energy and Wellbeing, by natural and sustainable means.
Elwin has always been interested in Health since childhood. With a mother who had cancer 4 times, and a father with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Elwin is determined to get to the Root Causes of what really creates Disease, and what it really takes to have Outstanding Health and Wellbeing. After suffering from Health Challenges all his life, Elwin became determined, in 2007, to 'Get his Energy back or Die Trying', and, with this level of Resolve, made rapid progress, after a few false starts, which led him naturally, organically, after many requests, to dedicate himself full time to helping others get the kind of Results that he had achieved.