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6 amazing health benefits of chia seeds

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In addition to being rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, chia seeds are packed with energy, are filling, and can help you lose weight.

These small, dark, gluten-free, fiber- and antioxidant-rich seeds are really popular. And with good reason! Chia seeds are good for everyone, from athletes to celebrities to children. Read on to learn about the 6 amazing health benefits of chia seeds.

The word chía is of Mayan origin and means “strength”. For thousands of years, these seeds have been a staple in Central American countries. Over time, they have gradually been incorporated into a lot of different kinds of dishes. This is because chia seeds are packed with vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals.

Chia seeds were originally part of the Mayan and Aztec diets. Today, they have expanded all over the world and are included in all kinds of recipes, both savory and sweet: fruit smoothies, desserts, bread, salads, etc. Their mild taste means that they do not change the taste of the food where you add them, but instead, they can give it a different, slightly crunchy texture.

Nutritional properties

According to the American Society of Nutrition, this superfood contains up to five times as much calcium as milk, making them an ideal dietary replacement for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Other health benefits of chia seeds are:

  • Contains more protein than vegetables.
  • Are three times richer in iron than spinach?
  • Contains three times the antioxidants of blueberries (which can help prevent cell oxidation).
  • Provides twice as much potassium as a banana.
  • Contains twice as much fiber as oats (which facilitates digestion).

Health benefits of chia seeds

1. Helps to satisfy hunger

According to a study by the National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico, chia seeds contain properties that can significantly help satiate hunger. That’s why it’s good to add (at least) a teaspoon of chia seeds to your snacks to prevent you from choosing other, high-calorie options when you get hungry between meals.

When they come into contact with liquid, chia seeds swell up to ten times their original size in the stomach, which is why it helps you feel full. As a natural consequence, by making you feel fuller, they can also promote weight loss or help you maintain a healthy weight.

2. Promote hydration

Are you the type of person who usually doesn’t drink a lot of fluids during the day? Maybe you forget or don’t like to drink water. This is also where the benefits of chia seeds come in handy! Specifically, drinking plenty of water and supplementing it with chia seeds, can promote hydration of the body. However, there are no studies that confirm this theory.

3. Reduce joint pain

The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds are anti-inflammatory, as shown in a study conducted by the Department of Medicine at the University of Chile. This means they are a good option if you suffer from joint pain or if you are susceptible to injury in certain areas, such as the knees. According to a study by the Adventist University of Plata in Argentina, they are also good for relieving discomfort caused by arthritis and arthrosis.

4. Health benefits of chia seeds: it protects against pollution

Living in a big city can cause many health problems. In addition to stress, toxins and pollution are important factors to consider. If you also add tobacco smoke and UVA rays, the consequences can be very serious.

It is believed that chia seeds can help protect you from these toxins. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support this claim.

5. Chia seeds contain a lot of energy

Have you felt very tired recently, without strength, or with difficulty concentrating? If so, it may be time to add chia seeds to your diet. They help you become more active from the moment you wake up in the morning.

Because they contain more protein and potassium than most fruits and vegetables, they can give you the dose of energy you’re missing. Perfect for Monday morning!

6. Health benefits of chia seeds: Helps increase muscle mass

Another benefit of consuming chia seeds is also related to energy. When you train and want to build more muscle, you can sometimes resort to dietary supplements that are not really good for your health or that can have negative side effects.

A natural replacement for these supplements would be chia seeds, as they are believed to increase muscle mass. A study published in the Spanish journal Nutrición Hospitalaria, however, refutes this fact and believes that there is no evidence for such a claim.

In summary

To best take advantage of the health benefits, chia seeds can provide, the American Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine recommends the following daily amounts:

  • Women under 50 years = 25 g
  • Women over 50 years = 21 g
  • Men under 58 years = 38 g
  • Men over 58 years = 30 g

If you want to add them to your meals, we recommend that you soak them in water for at least half an hour beforehand. This helps to strengthen their natural properties and produce a gel-like chi drink, which can be used to enrich other meals and drinks. The soaking causes the seeds to form a gelatin-like mass.

To make the chia gel, add a spoonful of seeds to a glass of water. After that, if you want, you can strain the mixture and drink directly. However, since the seeds are generally small in size, it is not always necessary to strain them – it all depends on personal taste. Feel free to try!

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