Chia seed, also called chia, is the seed of the flowering plant from the mint family Lamiaceae. With the scientific name Salvia hispanica, the plant is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Also, it is one of the commonly used herbs and spices in meals. The following are its health benefits.
Chia seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals. According to Authority Nutrition, the seeds contain vitamins B, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium. Vitamin B promotes brain function, which includes learning, thinking, memory, and sensation. Calcium and phosphorus work together to enhance bone and teeth health while manganese plays a role in metabolism, as well as cellular and tissue growth and development. Magnesium promotes neuromuscular coordination while zinc promotes digestive health and wound healing. Meanwhile, potassium has a pivotal role in regulating body fluids, as well as protecting the heart from disorders. A case in point is the prevention of high blood pressure through relaxing the muscles of the blood vessels.
Chia Seeds and Diabetes
Chia seeds also play a role in the prevention of diabetes. According to Dr. Axe’s official website, the seeds are rich in fiber and alpha-linolenic acid which both contribute to the prevention of metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia. Based on a study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition,” chia seeds fully prevented the onset of insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in rats. Moreover, no changes were noted on the rats’ blood levels despite of including sugar as 65 percent of their diet for three weeks.
Chia Seeds and Cardiovascular Health
Chia seeds also help promote the health of the heart. According to Medical News Today, chia seeds are rich in fiber, which helps reduce high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. As per the publication, studies have found that even a ten-gram a day boost in a person’s fiber consumption contributes to the reduction of low-density lipoproteins and total cholesterol levels. This health benefit is in addition to strengthening the immune system and decreasing the chances of having cancer and diabetes
Chia Seeds as Mood Booster
Chia seeds may also affect a person’s mood for the better. According to Well-Being Secrets, the seeds help a person feel happier, mainly due to its tryptophan content. As per the publication, tryptophan is a powerful amino acid that helps a person sleep peacefully at nigh. As a result, the person will have a better mood the next day.
Chia seeds can be added to numerous recipes, such as Oatmeal Chia Seed Cookies. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include two tablespoons of chia seeds, two cups of rolled oats, a cup of brown sugar, two-third cup of whole wheat flour, a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a teaspoon of baking soda, half teaspoon of baking powder, half teaspoon of salt, two-third cup of applesauce, three tablespoons of coconut oil, a cup of dried cranberries, half cup of chocolate chips (optional), and one-fourth cup of shredded unsweetened coconut (optional).
To prepare, as per the publication, the oven is preheated to 175 degrees Celsius. Next, a baking sheet is lined with parchment paper. After that the chia seeds, oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt are combined in a bowl. Next, the applesauce and coconut oil are stirred into oat mixture until the dough is evenly mixed. Once done, the dough is spooned into the prepared baking sheet. Finally, the dough is baked in the preheated oven for ten to 15 minutes
Chia seeds are considered healthy, due to the nutritional benefits they deliver to the body. Thus, their inclusion in various meal recipes helps improve the person’s total health and well-being.