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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Chia

Chia is a powerful plant that was used centuries ago as a staple crop by the Aztec Indians and other tribes in what is now Mexico. They believed it was very powerful, not only for the body, but for the mind. Chia is a whole grain that contains protein, fiber, calcium, omega-3s, and antioxidants. The benefits of chia have been rediscovered, and science is proving just how right the Aztecs were to rely on this little seed.

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Omega 3's

Chia seeds are packed with omega-3s, and they are a great alternative to eating fish for the fatty acid. It will give you the same results without the risk of mercury poisoning or seafood allergies. Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for cardiovascular health. They decrease abnormal heart rhythms and lower triglyceride levels. They can also help to prevent coronary heart disease.

Antioxidants

Chia seeds also have a large number of antioxidants. They protect your body from free radicals. These antioxidants can help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other attacks on the body. Chia seeds have as many or more antioxidants than blueberries, which are considered to be a "superfood."

Fiber

The high fiber content of chia seeds allows them to be slowly digested and absorbed by the body. This means that they don't cause a sharp change in blood sugar levels, which can have dangerous outcomes for diabetics. The slow conversion of carbohydrates into sugar makes it perfect for those with diabetes, because it keeps blood sugar levels stabilized. The slow digestion of chia seeds also means that you will feel full longer, and they block food absorption, which is great news for any dieter. Fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, so chia seeds help to ease digestion.

Hydration

Chia seeds absorb more than 12 times their weight in water. This allows them to help balance electrolytes in the body and keep you hydrated. Aztec warriors could subside on chia seeds because of both their nutrition content and their hydrating qualities.

Protein

Chia seeds are an excellent vegetable source of protein compared to other grain sources of protein. They will help give you energy and keep you focused. They can also help reduce cravings. The protein will help build lean muscle and boost metabolism.

Other Nutrients and Minerals

Chia also contains calcium, phosphorous, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. All of these are essential for the human body to run efficiently.

Eating Chia Seeds

Some books recommend that you add them to water and allow them to produce a gel before using them in recipes. While you can do this, you don't have to. They have a nutty flavor, so you can add them directly to salads, cereal or yogurt. You can also add them to your favorite bread or muffin recipes. Unlike flax seeds which have similar health benefits, chia seeds do not have to be ground up, and they do not spoil as quickly.

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