Did You Know…a forgotten staple of the ancient Aztec diet can help control diabetes, boost energy, and improve overall health?
The incredible healing benefits of Mexico’s native—hispanica plant have not received the recognition they deserve over the last few decades. That’s because the plant’s seeds, known as “chia,” were marketed in America as a fad novelty item called the “chia pet.” The popularity of chia pets overshadowed the seeds’ health value.
But recently, after decades of being ignored, chia health benefits are finally getting well-deserved attention from scientists, nutritionists, herbalists, athletes, and health enthusiasts alike.
Astonishing Energy Benefits
Chia seeds were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets because of their complete nutritional profile and astonishing energy benefits. Aztec warriors could reportedly survive for 24 hours of combat on just 1 tablespoon of chia gel.
Traditional healers in present day Mexico continue to use chia in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions.
Chia Helps Control Type II Diabetes
Chia seeds’ most exciting modern benefit may be its ability to help control type II diabetes. It accomplishes this by minimizing the side effects of a diet high in simple sugars.
Laboratory experiments have shown that consuming chia seeds along with a high-sugar diet gradually reduces insulin resistance. Studies also suggest that long-term consumption of chia seeds results in reduced body fat…lowered insulin levels…and lowered blood sugar.
A Nutritional Powerhouse
Each chia seed is a tiny, self-contained nutritional powerhouse with a wealth of benefits. The nutritional profile of chia health benefits promotes:
- Heart Health
- Increased Energy
- Relief From Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Healthy Blood Pressure
- Gastrointestinal Health
- Bone Health
- Mental Health
- Prenatal Health
- Breast Health
- Prostate Health
In addition to protein, fiber, and an extensive list of vitamins and minerals, chia seeds contain 3 powerful antioxidants: quercetin, myristicin, and kaempferol. These naturally occurring antioxidants help stabilize tissues that otherwise would be affected by allergies.
Chia Health Benefits: More Than Just Diabetes, Digestive and Energy Benefits of Chia
Chia seeds have a unique fiber coating that allows them to absorb 12 times their weight in water. After soaking in water or in your digestive system for 30 minutes, chia forms a highly viscous gel with superior digestive benefits, far greater than other fibers.
Once inside your body, the gel can:
- • Create and prolong hydration
- • Prolong the release of carbohydrates
- • Slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar
The gel gives your body energy—an even, steady form of energy that’s exactly what you need for everything from athletic endurance to mental alertness.
Health-Giving Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Cardiovascular Health
Chia seeds have the highest concentration of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) of any known plant source—up to 64%! According to researchers, ALA is the omega-3 with the greatest positive impact on cardiovascular and mental health. The more ALA you consume, the more likely you are to prevent heart problems and memory loss. Chia contains more ALA than flax, hemp, or marine algae, and more than twice the amount found in fish.
Eat Them Plain, or Enjoy “Chia Fresca”
In Mexico and Central America, chia seeds are mixed in water with lime or lemon juice and sugar to make a delicious, nutritious beverage known as “chia fresca”. The seeds have a nutty flavor, and can be mixed ground or whole into cereal, yogurt, salads or flour when making baked goods.
They can also be eaten plain. Unlike flax, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order for you to reap the chia health benefits, and also unlike flax, chia seeds store easily and do not spoil quickly.
Chia seeds are available at many natural food stores or co-ops, or they can be purchased online.