Chia Seeds Puddings Are Easy, Healthy, and Nutritious
In recent years, chia seeds are gaining popularity as one of the “superfoods” in the market. It has definitely lived up to its name as chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. Supposedly Aztec warriors relied on chia seeds to sustain them during long journeys, and when fighting battles. Chia contains a wide variety of nutrients including minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. The great thing about chia, aside from the fact that you can take advantage of its health benefit in such a small serving, is that it is very easy to add in different recipes and it can be stored for a long time. Because of its high antioxidant content, you can keep chia seeds for up to two years without refrigerating it.
Get Some Great Health Benefits From Chia Seeds
Including chia seeds in your meals and eating chia-based foods provide a variety of benefits. For one, chia is high in dietary fiber, containing around eleven grams per ounce. According to the American Dietetic Association, one serving of chia can sufficiently meet the required daily fiber intake. Because of this, chia is a great food to maintain a healthy and regular bowel movement. Its fiber content also creates a gel-forming action when in the stomach, promoting the growth of probiotics. Aside from its benefits in the digestive system, the high fiber content in chia seeds also maintains the sugar level in your body. It is also great in curbing appetite, since it expands when eating, making it an ideal addition to your weight loss diet.
The anti-inflammatory components of chia also aid in lowering the risk of heart diseases. It helps in regulating the level of cholesterol and your blood pressure, which is highly beneficial for cardiovascular health. An article published in the Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials stated that consuming chia seeds is effective in preventing the risks of “allergies, angina, cancer, coronary heart disease, heart attack, hormonal/ endocrine disorders, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, stroke, and vasodilatation.” Furthermore, the study suggested that chia seeds also have antiviral and anticoagulant components. The healthy fat contents of chia, specifically linoleic acid and Omega-3 fatty acids, are also important for heart health. Because of these, the body is capable of absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, fighting off bad cholesterol and reducing inflammation on the blood vessels.
A recent study conducted in Argentina showed profound results in the study of insulin and dyslipidemia, which is a metabolic disorder. The first part of their study showed the data on how the blood levels of their control group were maintained even with 65 percent of sugar in the diet along with 35 percent chia seeds for three weeks. The second part showed that dyslipidemia and the diabetic control groups were able to recover from their condition after consuming the same diet for three months. With the addition of chia seeds in the diet, the control group also had lowered levels of “belly fat” tissue which is a large component of obesity.
Aside from diabetes and heart diseases, chia seeds are also associated with lowering the risk of both breast and cervical cancer because of its high ALA content. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry showed that alpha lineic acid or ALA, which is a component of Omega-3 fatty acids can help limit the growth of cancer cells in these areas. High levels of ALA have also destroyed the affected cells without posing risks to the healthy cells.
If you are into fitness, you have probably encountered countless recommendations on taking chia seeds for your pre-workout nutrition. And now, you know that this is not just a fad. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, chia seeds help in enhancing your performance during workouts and its effects are comparable to the sugar-laden sports drinks that most people consume. Chia also contains zinc and improves the levels of leptin, which your body needs for better endurance and stamina.
Another benefit is that chia seeds can help in speeding up your metabolism, making it a great addition to your fat-burning program. You will find that drinking chia-based shakes can provide support in building your muscles and in losing those unwanted pounds. Since it contains high amounts of protein, chia seeds promote improved protein synthesis for your muscles while burning fats and maintaining your sugar levels. Its antioxidant components also help in replenishing the depleted nutrients that you will lose during a workout. Its absorption capabilities will also help in maintaining your electrolyte supply and prevent your body from dehydrating. So, to further optimize your workout sessions, make sure to add chia seeds as part of your fitness nutrition.
Chia seeds provide a significant source of fiber. When you eat them, they absorb water to form a jelly-like coating in your stomach. This helps to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, as well as helping with bowel health and regularity.
Recipes for Chia Seed Puddings
Remember that beyond chia puddings, you can also use chia seeds as topping to your favorite oatmeal, salads, or as an additional ingredient to shakes, a veggies loaf, and smoothies. You can also create your own healthy jam using chia seeds and berries. There are limitless ways to enjoy the benefits of this amazing superfood.
If you have a favorite chia seeds or puddings recipe, please share it with us in the comments box below.