Most of us know the Chia seeds from the holiday commercials about Chia pets, or maybe you have experimented with the Chia herb gardens. What more and more people are starting to realize is that the Chia seed can bring an enormous benefit to their lives as a part of their diet. Over the past 30 years, anecdotal evidence has shown how the effects of consumption can help with a wide range of ailments from high blood pressure to diabetes and be an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Scientists are beginning to examine these little seeds much more closely.
Side note: I LOVE them in my green smoothies!!
What is Chia?
Chia seeds are native to Mexico and come from a small flowering plant. The seeds are mostly brown or black in color, although they can also sometimes be white, and have no noticeable flavor. They can be added raw as a topping to food, or cooked into dishes. There is no recommended daily amount of Chia seeds to consume, however most people who advocate Chia recommend about a 2 tablespoons a day (dry) taken as a part of your meal or as a tea. It is important to remember to drink 8 ounces of water with your Chia if you are taking it dry because of its high fiber content.
Chia seeds have shown to be beneficial in helping with weight loss for several reasons. They have a high nutritional profile, are high in protein and fiber. All of this combines to help you feel full faster. What makes Chia choice than other food supplements for dieting is while it makes you feel full faster, reducing your need and desire to eat more; you are not sacrificing your nutritional needs. With many protein or fiber rich meal replacements, the nutritional profile is low meaning you are getting full, but not getting any of the important minerals and amino acids that your body needs to stay healthy.
The effect that Chia seeds have in regulating blood pressure was first noticed alongside the effects that were appearing in stabilizing blood sugar levels in research. It is thought that the components of Chia that make it so effective in helping with weight loss have a companion effect of strengthening the bodies circulatory and digestive systems which then leads to increased heart health through lowering cholesterol and regulating insulin.