7 Health Facts You Didn’t Know About Chia Seeds
When you hear “superfood,” you probably think green… leafy…blah. But one nutrient rich food is taking the health industry by storm (and it’s not even green!). Chia seeds are versatile, packed with fiber, and give you sustainable energy all day. In fact, it’s reported that Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. Just one spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours.
The seeds can be eaten raw, but it’s recommended to soak them in water for about 10 minutes before eating them or adding them to a smoothie. The tiny seeds can absorb 10 times their weight in water, so they’re a great source of hydration, but eating them raw means that absorption happens in your stomach, so be sure to drink plenty of water if you sprinkle them on a salad. So chia is a great source of energy, but how else can this tiny superfood benefit your body? We’re glad you asked…
Exfoliating Facial Scrub
Chia seeds can help remove dead skin and leave your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. A three-ingredient mixture can get you started.
Mix the ingredients together and apply to your face. Allow the scrub to sit for two to three minutes and remove with a damp washcloth.
Chia seeds are packed with fiber. The American Dietetic Association says one serving can provide the recommended fiber intake for a full day. The high fiber also helps chia to act as a natural blood sugar balancer, which is a great benefit for those with diabetes.
No, the seeds aren’t necessarily a “diet” food, but their unique absorption quality can help you feel fuller longer. When you add chia seeds to different foods – salad, yogurt, or a protein shake – the seeds expand in your stomach. That expansion can help you feel full, promote eating less, and losing weight.
Healthy Teeth and Bones
An unexpected benefit to chia is the amount of calcium packed into such a small seed. The calcium content in chia seeds is five times that of milk – a definite benefit to your teeth and bones. The calcium count is also a plus for your heart, as calcium is needed in contractions of the heart muscles.
Fight Free Radicals
Chia seeds are a powerhouse of antioxidants. Just a serving or two a day can help fight against the free radicals that can damage your body and create diseases. Free radicals can cause cells to break down and actually promote the growth of cancerous cells.
Complicated recipes aren’t needed for this superfood. You can add chia seeds to nearly anything you eat. Try adding chia to these:
Long Shelf Life
Chia seeds can last a very long time when kept in a cool, dry place. The seeds should be kept in an air tight container. Their ability to absorb moisture means they can easily spoil if left in a damp area. The seeds can last for up to five years when stored properly.