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Like many other ‘superfoods’, chia seeds join the ranks amongst dozens of health-boosting, nutritional foods that support and benefit both your brain and your body.
Similar to that of honey, chia seeds are packed full of antioxidants. The natural function of antioxidants is to protect their host from unstable molecules called ‘free radicals’ which cause the fats and skin to eventually turn rancid. Antioxidants play a different, but similar role in protecting your body from these free radicals which, as they accumulate, contribute to certain diseases such as cancer and even the ageing of your skin. Consuming chia seeds provides your body with such a high number of antioxidants that they are hard to ignore. In addition to their antioxidant value, chia seeds also boast a great level of nutrition without containing many calories.
Within just one ounce of chia seeds, you will find 11g of fibre, 4g of protein, 5g of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamins B3, B2, and B1. When you consider that all of this exists only in only two tablespoons of chia seeds (28g), you should start to realize just what an essential part of a nutritional diet they can be. To add to this nutrition-boosting superfood, chia seeds are considered to be a ‘whole-grain’ food which is almost always organically grown, free of gluten and not GMO. The benefits of chia seeds are so numerous, it can be hard to process just how good these are for you.
Containing a good content of calcium, magnesium, protein, and phosphorus, chia seeds provide the body with a good nutritional base for bone growth and health. Being gram for gram higher in protein content than dairy, chia seeds continue to go round for round against the biggest dietary contributors of nutrition. Digressing back to further elaborate on the omega-3 content in chia seeds; Omega-3 fatty acids actually hold more omega-3 content when weighed gram for gram against salmon. Is there no end to their nutritional value conquest?
To incorporate a small bit of science here: to create usable protein in our bodies, amino acids are a must! Chia seeds are made up of roughly 14% protein, but the selling point is that they also contain a well-balanced amount of amino acids essential for the effective use of this protein. For those that are set on the path to weight-loss, it has been shown that a high protein diet reduces the craving for more food and satisfies the appetite. As such a great source of protein, chia seeds are essentially a weight-loss nutritional topping due to both the protein and the fibrous content.
When it comes to any milestone in any diet that exists today, heart health is one of the main concerns and aspects that a healthy diet aims to improve and maintain. Comprised of a good combination of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fibre, chia seeds have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (detrimental to your health) while raising HDL cholesterol (beneficial for your health). Within a study by M. Guevara-Cruz et al. 2012, it was identical, that a diet consisting of chia seeds, oats, nopal and soy protein saw a correct balancing out of LDL and HDL cholesterol while reducing inflammation responses. This gives the potential for chia seeds to improve your metabolic health and reduce your risks of Type 2 Diabetes while lowering your risk of Heart Disease.
In addition to the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, chia seeds can also see vast improvements in the lives of people living with Type 2 due to their fibrous content. Fibre is an essential tool for the control of blood sugar levels and to reduce high blood pressure levels due to their slow-release of energy and nutritional content. It has also been shown that chia seeds could help in the reduction of blood sugar levels rapidly rising after a meal and with Type 2 Diabetes, blood sugar maintenance is crucial to remain in good health.
As you can see from the information so far, the benefits of chia seeds are endless in any diet. From their nutritional content to their promoting of heart health to their ability to benefit overall health, chia seeds have most definitely earned their place in the halls of ‘superfood’ fame.