Chia is a type of seed that hails back to ancient Aztec times, when it was a staple in the diets of the people, and important as a trading currency. Today, chia seeds are a common health food item that can be found in many stores. By mixing ground chia seeds, chopped almonds, tahini, agave syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and water, then leaving the mixture to sit in the fridge overnight, a thick white liquid is created, resembling cow or soy milk. This product is known as chia milk, and is said to be beneficial for the health of those who consume it. Here are five health benefits of chia milk.
Benefit #1: Rich Source of Fiber
Chia is a rich source of dietary fiber that promotes digestion in the intestinal tract. The seeds contain insoluble dietary fiber, but after being ground up and processed, the mixture contains mostly soluble fiber that helps in the production of gases in the colon, regulating the blood sugars and cholesterol that are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Benefit #2: Helps Body Process Sugars
Chia milk helps in the creation of a barrier in the stomach and the intestinal tract that allows for the regulation of the sugars that are taken in. Chia milk helps to regulate the uptake of carbohydrates from the food that is eaten, preventing the body from taking in too much sugar at once.
Benefit #3: Suitable for Allergies
Chia milk is both lactose free and gluten free, therefore being suitable for those with lactose intolerance and gluten related allergies. The taste of chia milk is distinct from cow's milk, but it is a good alternative to it.
Benefit #4: Good Source of Oils and Antioxidants
Chia milk is high in omega-3, containing 64% of the fatty acid. In addition to omega-3, the seeds contain natural chia seed oil that is very high in unsaturated fat. In terms of antioxidants, chia seeds contain more than regular vegetable oils, olive oil and flax seed oil. These oils and antioxidants are good for the health of the heart and for the prevention of high blood pressure.
Benefit #5: High Energy and Low Glycemic Index
Chia milk is high in energy, since it has high oil content. Due to this property, chia milk is recommended for individuals who have a high energy output, such as developing teenagers, children and pregnant women. The high energy content of the seeds in chia milk also means that it is less suitable for those who are hoping to lose weight quickly. However, it is more recommended for these people as opposed to animal fat and other vegetable oils.
Due to the excellent water-absorption quality of chia, it can help you prolong hydration and maintain electrolytes, especially during exertion. Chia milk allows the individual to experience the feeling of fullness for a longer period of time, compare to other grains. It's good for those who have irregular meal hours and require a meal to keep them full throughout the day.