The Awesomeness of Chia Seeds: Energize Now!!
by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish
In today’s fast-paced society, everyone is looking for ways to maintain health, elevate immune systems and boost their energy levels. Similarly, people typically want something that is easy to do, fits well with their lifestyle and is fairly simple to accomplish. With recent publicity toward natural health methods and organic foods, more and more people are enjoying the benefits of eating chia seeds.
Although many people may have first heard of chia seeds through the novelty item, Chia Pets, these seeds have actually been in use as a dietary supplement as far back as the ancient Aztecs. For many years, this tiny little seed was used as a main food source by Indians of the southwestern United States and Mexico. Throughout history, it has been said that the Aztecs ate as little as a teaspoon of chia seeds when going on forced marches and conquests.
One of the benefits of the chia seed is its ability to slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This makes it easier for chia seeds to create more endurance for people. Prolonging the conversion into sugar gives people additional energy and stabilizes metabolic changes. This can be especially important for those suffering from diabetes.
Another positive and useful aspect of the chia seed is its hydrophilic properties. Because the seeds themselves have the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water, the water offers the ability to keep hydrated for longer periods of time. The fluids and electrolytes that are maintained are able to offer a better environment for all of the body’s cells. Eating chia seeds allows people to maintain a healthier balance of electrolytes.
Local business owner, Kathy Steinke, also believes in the health effects of chia seeds. In fact, you can purchase these potent seeds at her business, Seattle Pride Coffee House, located inside Gold’s Gym. Kathy and her husband, Dennis, sell the seeds as part of their business and believe in the positive effects of this food.
For those that watch daytime television and especially talk shows, Dr. Mehmet Oz has become a well-known doctor. For over five seasons, he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and now has his own talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show.” Dr. Oz is currently Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. In addition to appearing on talk shows, he is a well-known cardiac surgeon and performs many procedures each year. Dr. Oz has proclaimed his support of the chia seeds for some time. “The truth is, chia seeds are actually good for you—we’re talking really good for you! In fact, they just may be one of the healthiest things around,” Dr. Oz said.
A quick search on the Dr. Oz website shows his many comments and answers regarding the chia seed. “Chia—a harvested, unprocessed, nutty-tasting, nutrient-dense whole grain with omega-3 fatty acids—has more antioxidant activity of any whole food, outdistancing even fresh blueberries,” Dr. Oz commented through his website. The chia seeds can also decrease inflammation because of the omega-3 fatty acids.
Here are some other reasons to consider adding chia seeds to your diet:
- More omega-3 than Atlantic salmon
- More fiber than bran flakes
- More protein, fiber and calcium than flax seed
- More antioxidants than fresh blueberries
- More calcium than 2% milk
- Overall, the major benefits of chia seeds are as follows:
- Chia seeds are nutritious: they are loaded with omega-3, antioxidants, calcium, protein, fiber and other vitamins and minerals
- Chia seeds are energizing: they provide hydration for athletes, added stamina, and endurance
- Chia seeds reduce food cravings: helps release unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream
- Chia seeds are easily digestible: Chia seeds do not need to be ground up prior to ingesting
- Chia seeds can help reduce your blood pressure
- Chia seeds and omega-3: the seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3
- Chia seeds and diabetes: studies indicate that the seeds help control blood sugar
- Chia seeds vs. flax seeds: Chia seeds are easier to ingest than flax seeds and do not need to be ground up
Overall, if individuals are looking to maintain or increase their health levels, investigating the Chia seeds may be an option for them.