• The Many Benefits of Chia

    The Many Health Benefits of Chia

    The word “Chia” is derived from the Mayan word for strength, because the Mayans and Aztecs fully understood the power that one can derive from these amazing seeds. Quite often, manufacturers and sellers will drastically overstate the health benefits associated with a seed or supplement, but the benefits of chia are backed up by science as well as history.

    In the early Aztec and Mayan empires, people knew there was something special about chia. These seeds, which come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, comprised one of four essential grains used as part of everyday consumption, and were also incorporated into medicines and used by Aztec warriors as a source of strength and vitality.

    Fast-forward more than 5,000 years, and scientists are coming to prove what the Aztecs and Mayans knew all along: Chia is an amazing nutrient source. For starters, chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than fatty acids. These fats are essential for human health, but most people do not get enough of them. Chia seeds are also so rich in antioxidants that the seeds can be stored for extremely long periods of time without becoming rancid.

    But omega-3's and antioxidants are just the tip of the iceberg. Chia is also very rich in fiber, as well as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous and zinc. It can enhance the nutritional value of other food when used as an additive, and with its nut-like flavor, it can enhance the taste of your favorite foods as well.

    For these reasons and more, chia is being heralded as a “superfood.” You may have heard a lot about other superfoods like blueberries, broccoli, spinach and salmon, and these foods are all great, but many of them contain only a subset of the vast array of nutrients that you will find in chia. For instance, blueberries—like chia—contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, but they lack the omega-3 fatty acids. With its diverse selection of nutrients, vitamins and essential fats, chia is arguably the perfect food.

    Chia can be consumed in many ways. The grain is completely beneficial on its own, and unlike flax, you can derive its benefits without grinding the seeds. You can also use chia as a food additive or as a liquid. Unlike most seeds, you can even find chia in gel form, which is extremely beneficial in its own right. The gel causes a reaction in the stomach, drastically slowing the conversion process of carbohydrates into sugar. Chia gel can also help to balance your electrolytes.

    Like the Aztecs and the Mayans who lived centuries ago, you can enhance your own health and vitality by incorporating chia into your everyday diet. Whether you want to increase your energy or just ensure that you get those essential vitamins and nutrients every day, chia can set you on the right path.  Check out our Chia gel, Chia Surge.

  • Consuming Chia Seeds for Weight Loss

    Chia comes from the Mayan word for “strength,” and the Mayans certainly knew what they were talking about. Chia seeds were a staple crop of the Aztec and Mayan empires more than 5,000 years ago, and scientists today are starting to uncover just how many amazing nutritional benefits these tasty seeds have. Chia is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, electrolytes, antioxidants, vitamins and even protein. Plus, chia seeds’ calories will hardly make a dent in your daily caloric intake. Few superfoods offer so many benefits.

    Regardless of your individual health goals, chia can make an excellent addition to your diet. The nutrients can promote overall nutrition, the protein can aid in physical fitness and improve your recovery time, and research shows that chia consumption may even offer certain benefits to individuals trying to lose weight.

    If you’re trying or struggling to lose a few pounds or even a substantial amount of weight, you may want to consider adding chia seeds to your healthy diet. It is believed that ancient Aztec warriors devoured chia seeds because of the energy and endurance they provide, and that same energy boost can give you the stamina you need to get the most from your exercise routine.

    Chia seeds can also aid your weight loss efforts for other reasons. For instance, there are a number of foods, energy drinks and supplements on the market that promise to raise your energy level, but very few of them have as few calories as chia, and even fewer provide the same essential nutrients. Chia gel can naturally improve your energy level and get your heart pumping without filling your body with empty calories. The benefits are astounding.

    Furthermore, chia absorbs up to 12 times its own weight, so it can work wonders if you have an overactive appetite. Even just an ounce of chia can reduce your caloric intake and help lower the energy density of the foods you eat, in addition to doubling the amount of fiber you receive, according to the Dr. Oz blog. In fact, just once ounce of chia contains more than 40 percent of your daily fiber recommendation, and fiber is the ideal nutrient for satisfying hunger.

    Any weight loss effort is difficult, and should include a combination of daily exercise and good nutrition. While chia is not a weight loss supplement, it does contain enough beneficial nutrients to help you meet your health and weight loss goals. Even small amounts of chia can go a long way in promoting good health, so try incorporating it into your lifestyle today.

  • Chia Seeds FAQs

    What is Chia?

    Chia is an edible seed that comes from the Salvia hispanica plant, which commonly grows in southern Mexico. Anthropological evidence shows that chia seeds were a staple crop of the Aztec and Mayan empires as long ago as 3500 B.C. The Spanish conquistadors outlawed the cultivation of chia due to its connection to Aztec religion, and the grain faded into obscurity. In recent years, chia has enjoyed a popular resurgence as scientists have discovered amazing health benefits associated with it.

    What are the Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts?

    Chia is one of the ultimate superfoods. A single ounce of chia contains 42 percent of your daily recommended fiber, and more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. It also contains very healthy doses of electrolytes, antioxidants, and even protein. In fact, chia is a complete protein source, containing all of the essential amino acids, and it contains 3 times more calcium than skim milk.

    What are the Benefits of Chia Seeds?

    Thanks to its myriad nutrients, chia offers a wide variety of health benefits. Chia consumption can help you to meet many of your daily nutrient requirements, and the fiber can help you to keep your appetite under control. The ancient Aztec warriors consumed chia for the energy and endurance that it provides, and you can experience the same energy boost by consuming chia seeds yourself. The ample calcium can help prevent bone disorders like osteoporosis. Chia also promotes heart health and beautiful skin, hair and nails.

    How Do I Consume Chia Seeds?

    You have many options when it comes to chia. You can eat the seeds by themselves or add them to your food or drink, and still derive all of the nutritional benefits. There are chia seed foods, chia seed drinks, chia seed oils and even chia seed bars. Other superfoods, like flax seeds, must be ground up, but chia seeds are beneficial no matter how you consume them. You can even consume chia as a gel, which offers many benefits of its own. Researchers have also found that chia seeds gel has the ability to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar. Vitalyte's Chia Surge energy gel is a great example of an effective use of chia.

    What are the Benefits of Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds?

    Flax seeds are very nutritious as well, but they do not hold a candle to chia seeds. For instance, flax seeds must be ground up in order for their nutrients to be digestible.  By contrast, you do not need to grind up chia seeds in order to obtain the nutritional benefits. Also, chia has much higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants than flax does, and is more nutrient-dense.

    What are Chia Seeds' Side Effects?

    Chia has many nutritional benefits and very few side effects. If you are taking blood thinners, you may want to speak with your doctor before adding chia to your diet, simply because omega-3 fatty acids can thin the blood. Also, the high fiber content may leave some people feeling slightly bloated. You will find though, that the benefits far outweigh the side effects.

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