When the Chia Pet, little clay animals that you applied Chia seeds to and watched them sprout from thier bodies, first came out many people couldn’t help but repeat the catchy “Chchch Chia” phrase. Even though this seemed like an odd thing to buy, it was very popular and still is today. Of course the little Chia plants are interesting to look at and watch grow, but did you actually know that the Chia seed is extremely beneficial to eat?
Chia seeds have tremendous nutritional value as well as medicinal properties. This seed was an every day item that was eaten by the Indians of the southwest and in Mexico. It is well known as a high energy endurance food and has even been recorded as far back as the Aztecs. Chia seeds have been shown to bring down inflammation in the body as they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acid. It is one of the richest vegetables source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid. They are also a complete protein which is great for those who do not consume enough protein in their diet or those who workout hard with weights. By consuming chia seeds after your workout, this helps with muslce recovery and decreases the inflammation caused from working out so hard. Chia seeds are also beneficial for pregnant women, adolescents and children during growing spells.
Try mixing a spoonful of Chia in a glass of water. Let this sit for about 30 minutes and when you return you will see not water or seeds, but what almost looks like a solid gelatin. The Chia seed has a great deal of soluble fiber within it. Researchers believe that this same gel-forming reaction takes place in the stomach when eaten. This gel formed in the stomach makes a physical barrier in between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. This slows down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
This slowing of the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar generates the ability for creating endurance. As we know, carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. By prolonging the sugar conversion this helps to stabilize metabolic changes in the body which is very benefiical to everyone, especially diabetics. This keeps the blood sugar in check by keeping an even balance in the blood stream.
Chia seeds, as well as other hydropholic colloids, may help ease a sour stomach. Those who have difficulty eating raw vegetables, green salads and fruits, may be able to eat them with very little discomfort when incorporating chia seeds. Chia seeds are very easily digested. This would be great to talk to your doctor or nutritionist about to see if they would be benficial for your diet.
Another unique quality if the Chia seed is its high oil content, and the richest vegetable source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid. It has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. These essential oils your body needs to help with emulsifying and absorbing the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K. Chia seeds contain linoleic, and are high in unsaturated fatty acids which the body cannot manufacture. Unsaturated fatty acids help the body by making it easier for oxygen to tranport into the organs, tissues and cells. These are also essential for the adrenal glands and thyroid.
Chia seeds can be added to your diet easily. Sprinkle them on your cereal, in salads, or yogurt. Grind them and add to your baked goods or sauces. Chia seeds have a long shelf life and you do not need to keep them in the freezer. Another interesting note is that bugs do not like Chia plants so it is easier to find organically grown seeds. See how you like this seed by incorporating it into your diet.