When most people hear the word "chia," they automatically think of those cheesy infomercials from the 1990s selling people animal-shaped chia plants. However, ch-ch-ch-chia seeds can be used for more than decorating your office or home. They’re a great source of a number of nutrients and are extremely easy to add to your diet.
Chia literally means "oily." The seed is either black, dark brown, or white, and they come from a flowering plant that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. They were once an important crop to the ancient Aztecs. Since they have been gaining popularity, you can find them at almost any grocery store, and if not, any natural foods store probably will.
The benefits are enormous and since they have no flavor profile, you can add them to almost any meal.
Chia seeds have the ability to regulate the carbohydrates and sugars that our bodies make, regulating the diabetic effect in people with type 2 diabetes. When they are eaten, the seeds form a barrier inside of the stomach helping to slow the ingestion of sugars into the bloodstream — chia seeds help to keep the glucose levels stable.
2. Strengthen Your Teeth and Bones
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, this superfood has 18 percent calcium of the daily recommended serving. It could potentially prevent against diseases like osteoporosis and bone disease.
3. High in Fiber
They’re a great source of fiber, which is important for digestion and regulating your bowels. Foods high in fiber are also great for helping you to feel fuller longer. Fiber also helps to lower bad cholesterol levels and control sugar levels.
4. Use It to Make Pudding
You can replace conventional gelatins and guar gums with chia seeds because of its binding properties. When chia seeds are mixed with water they become gelatinous, thus giving your foods a pudding-like texture. They’re also perfect if you have gluten, vegan, or paleo-diet restriction.
5. High in Protein
Not only do they not add any cholesterol, but 1 gram of chia seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, which is nearly 10 percent of the daily required amount. Despite these amazing health benefits, there are also some precautions you should take before including this super food into your diet. Some people might have an allergic reaction to chia seeds so make to be aware of this possibility. Also, there is a possibility that chia seeds could interact with Coumadin or other heart medications. Always include the seed in your list of supplements when speaking with your doctor.