4 Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are the tiny black seeds from a species of flowering plant in the mint family, called Salvia Hispanica. Native to Central and South America, Chia seeds pack a triple punch as they are naturally high in fibre, high in protein and high in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), the plant form of Omega-3 fatty acid. So how do Chia seeds benefit the body:
1. Chia seeds help reduce your cardiovascular risks factors.
Omega-3s help to decrease the risk of blood clots forming in the blood vessels (thrombosis) and arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), disorders that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Omega-3s may also decrease LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce plaque buildup in the arteries and slightly lower blood pressure. The richest sources of plant-based omega-3s are Chia seeds closely followed by Flaxseeds, Flaxseed oil, Hempseeds, Hempseed oil, and Walnuts.
2. Chia seeds boost your energy.
The combination of fat, protein and fibre means that Chia seeds are digested relatively slowly and provide a long, slow release of energy that will help to keep your blood-sugar levels stable, keep you fuller for longer and reduce any sugar cravings They also slow down the process of converting sugars and carbohydrates from the seeds into energy. This slow-burning process, in combination with the high protein content, leads to a sustained energy boost.
3. Chia seeds are great for your bones.
Just one ounce of Chia seeds has about 18 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Calcium is fundamental in bone health and helps maintain bone strength and mass, They also contain Boron which supports bone growth.
4. Chia seeds help you build muscle and lose weight.
Chia seeds rank among one of the top plant-based sources of protein, another reason this super seed is great to consume for those trying to put on lean muscle and burn fat. Chia Seeds pack a powerful antioxidant punch to help replace some of those nutrients lost when exercising. These antioxidants also speed up the skin’s repair systems and taking Chia seeds can slow down premature skin ageing caused by free radical damage.
They’re high in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and niacin. They can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water which can prolong hydration and improve your nutrient absorption of electrolytes, essential whilst working out.
Chia seeds are also high in zinc, which helps your body increase Leptin, which is a key hormone that regulates appetite, how your body spends energy and regulates your energy levels.
Last but not least, Chia seeds are high in fibre. Increased fibre intake and a high fibre diet has been shown to help with weight loss. As a diet with adequate fibre prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
Mix Chia seeds into another food or liquid before consuming, especially for people with a history of swallowing problems and remember small children should not be given Chia seeds.
If you haven't already, give Chia seeds a try as they are a great boost to your nutrition particularly if you’re looking to get in shape but remember it's better to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods, rather than concentrating on individual foods.
Adelaide Brooks is a Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach with a Degree in Sports and Exercise Science and a Masters in Psychology. She has over 20 years experience as a trainer and has worked in the medical, pharmaceutical and fitness industry.
If you would like to book a body transformation training session with Adelaide please take a look at the services page.