Chia seeds have a long history of use in ancient South-American cultures.
While they revered it as an almost sacred grain, they had no idea its true potential.
Fortunately for you, once you learn these 6-little known secrets provided by the mighty chia seed you’ll see how it can change your life.
An Ancient Grain With a Long History Of Life Change
Chia seed is an ancient grain and the Aztec culture celebrated it in religious ceremonies and also used it in many aspects of their health,
Even though it was used for thousands of years, at some point in history, it was “lost,” only to be re-discovered by Spanish conquistadors.
Today, the chia seed is used all over the world. Not only because it’s a versatile food-staple, but also because it can help boost health in several ways.
1 – Gives You Healthy Omega 3 Fats:
Chia Seeds provide one of the best sources of omega-3 fats by weight. They’re high in a type of omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA serves as a precursor to the kinds of omega-3 fats your body uses for brain and heart health.
In addition to helping your body produce final-stage forms of omega 3, ALA is implicated in various types of health improvement.
2 – Helps Improve Blood Sugar:
The mighty chia seed helps to improve blood sugar in two, unique ways.
Chia seeds are one of the best dietary sources of fiber you can find. 1 oz of chia seed contains 10 grams of fiber, which means chia seeds are ⅓ fiber by weight.
Appropriate fiber intake has been shown to reduce appetite, and also has a pronounced effect on blood sugar levels by slowing digestion and acting as an agonist for carbohydrate metabolism.
Additionally, ALA (the same fat mentioned above) is beneficial for blood sugar control. Studies in humans support eating chia seeds to help reduce glycemic response.
When people eat white bread (a food known to spike blood sugar) chia seed can help dampen spikes in blood sugar levels and keep glucose levels even.
3 – Help Heal the Gut:
To have a healthy gut microbiome, you need ample amounts of “food” for probiotics. Probiotics, AKA healthy gut bacteria, need certain kinds of fiber known as prebiotics to remain healthy and to continue digestion.
Chia seeds deliver a variety of fiber types that probiotics can feed on. Additionally, chia seeds absorb water, which helps ease chia seeds passage through your gut and can help maintain regularity.
4 – Help Make Your Mouth Healthier:
Dr. Josh Axe points out chia seeds are a great source of minerals that help to improve oral health.
“Because chia seeds are packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc, it’s no wonder that promoting oral health makes a list as a top benefit of chia seeds. Calcium is the building block of your teeth that is necessary for maintaining oral health.
Meanwhile, zinc prevents tartar by keeping plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth, both of which are plentiful in chia seeds.”
5 – Can Fight Cancer:
Chia’s fat content, found in ALA, can also influence how cancer cells grow and die.
Researchers writing for the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry published a study in 2013 supporting the claim ALA kept certain cancers from spreading.
The in vitro study (meaning a cell culture study) showed that ALA had the power to inhibit how breast and cervical cancer cells grew.
They showed that in addition to halting cancer cell growth progression, there were instances where ALA encouraged cell apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, whereas surrounding healthy cells remained intact.
6 – Improves Cardiovascular Health:
One of the defining health-boosting characteristics of chia seeds is how they affect heart health. ALA and fiber are independently demonstrated to improve cardiovascular function.
ALA has been shown to fight chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammation has been linked to elevated homocysteine levels, which are a leading risk factor in heart health.
In addition to that, because ALA is a polyunsaturated fat, it can help improve proper cholesterol levels while reducing harmful cholesterol levels. These cholesterol improvements often result in a decrease in high blood pressure.
On top of that, the high amounts of fiber in chia seeds also help with cholesterol levels. Research shows fiber has the power to improve cholesterol levels as well and has the added benefit of helping clear out obstructions in the arteries.
Final Notes on Chia Seeds
Chia seeds offer a wealth of health-improving nutrients.
Along with ALA and fiber and the minerals Dr. Axe mentioned, chia seeds deliver various antioxidants which improve health by fighting free radicals and protecting the cells from DNA damage.
Always purchase chia seeds in the organic form (when you can). Because chia seeds come from foreign countries with little accountability on agricultural production, organic chia seeds will give you a food product you can trust is good for you.