I still remember my first tryst with chia seeds. Many summers ago, when we had moved up north in the peak of the summer, a neighbor got a sweet smelling green juice laced with chia or sabza seeds. From Khus ka sharbat to the umpteen glasses of Roohafza, everything had these magical seeds added to it. My favourite was the homemade falooda! As a child, getting to chew those slightly spongy, soft yet sticky seeds was pure joy.
Forgotten for years, chia seeds made a comeback in my life about two years ago when I discovered it in a healthy smoothie.
A quick search on Google reveals that nutritionists now label chia seeds or sabza as a super food capable of lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Not just a healthy heart, but it also promised to help lose weight and improve your skin and hair.
Here are 9 reasons why you should be including chia seeds in your diet.
Get Ah-mazing Skin!
Chia seed oil helps to hydrate and nourish your skin. It reduces trans-epidermal water loss and helps to lock in the moisture levels even in the driest of skins. Since chia seed oil is available as a carrier oil, mix a few drops with your regular moisturizer and use. It works perfectly on excessively dry areas of your body – soles, heels, elbow patches and knees.
The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds promote blood circulation and help to keep the skin dryness at bay. In some cases regular consumption of chia seeds have helped to also reduce skin inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to protect the skin from UV rays. It anti-inflammatory properties reduce the intensity of wrinkles on the skin.
Health Drink on the Go!
Addicted to health drinks? Give them a miss and try chia seeds instead. For those who complain of fatigue, chia seeds is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. These ensure that you get your much needed energy dose every day.
There is a legend that the ancient Mayan army drank water with chia seeds to build their endurance levels.
No More Laxatives
Chia seeds act as natural laxatives. It is rich in fiber and that helps to eliminate body waste effectively without you having to pop in those store bought medicines.
One glass of lukewarm water with soaked chia seeds is all that you need for a cleaner bowel!
Healthy Food Option
Add soaked chia seeds to your breakfast options – smoothies, overnight soaked oats, porridges and more. Not only does it enhance the taste of food but also ensures you have your daily dose of vitamins, minerals and proteins.
Lose Some Weight
Chia seeds are rich in fiber. Since the seeds absorb large amounts of water, when it is consumed, it helps to create a feeling of fullness. This in turn curbs the appetite. However, it is important to note that while it does create a feeling of fullness, certain studies have indicated that this did not affect weight loss.
This can vary according to body types.
A Perfect Vegan Option
Does your diet lack in protein? It's a known fact that dairy products and meat contain a high percentage of protein that the body requires. But if you are a vegan, these options are certainly ruled out.
Chia seeds contain a decent amount of protein and are also rich in essential amino acids. When consumed, it will give the required protein intake to the body. And it is also gluten-free.
Helps to Curb Impulse Eating
Did you know that consuming the right amount of protein can help reduce impulse eating and night-time snacking?
So if these are tendencies you struggle with, include chia seeds in the diet.
Maintain a Healthy Heart
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These help to lower blood cholesterol and prevent coronary heart disease. Cholesterol levels are lowered because of the presence of monounsaturated fats in the chia seeds.
Dieticians sometimes recommend adding chia to the diet if a person has high cholesterol levels.
Recommended in Pregnancy
Chia seeds are known to provide the essential nutrients to an expectant mother. Rich in protein, calcium and iron they help in the development of tissues and bone growth. Omega-3 fatty acids help to boost the baby’s brain development.
It also helps to keep constipation at bay, which is one of the common health issues faced by pregnant women. But, as always consult with your doctor before you consume them, especially in your pregnancy.
Things to note:
- Recommended consumption is about 20 gms or 1.5 tablespoons a day.
- Over consumption of the seeds can lead to gastric issues.
- If you are on blood thinning medicines, avoid consuming chia seeds because they are natural blood thinners.
I love to sneak this superfood in a tall glass of falooda that I love to indulge in especially in the summers! Try it, if you love sweets as much as I do. But if you are looking at improving your health or promoting nourished skin, curb that impulse eating or lowered cholesterols, include chia seeds in your diet now.
(Pratibha spent her childhood in idyllic places only fauji kids would have heard of. When she's not rooting for eco-living or whipping up some DIY recipes to share with her readers, Pratibha is creating magic with social media. You can view her blog at www.pratsmusings.com or reach to her on Twitter at @myepica.)
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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