The influence that vegetable products have on our health is widely known. Thanks to the high proportion of fiber and antioxidants, they allow to fight tumors, improve cardiovascular function and sharpen the sensitivity to insulin. In principle, they are a key element of a healthy diet, but some of them deserve special mention. This list includes the seeds of Spanish sage, also commonly called chia seeds.
Chia seeds were once eaten by Aztec warriors to prepare them for battle. Now, thanks to their composition, they can be a good tool in the fight for better health. Below is a list of 5 reasons why chia seeds should be permanently included in your diet.
Fats are usually associated with deep oil fried products, from which hands get stuck and blockages are created in the veins. However, large quantities of fats can also be found in many plant seeds, which is the best, however, these fats have nothing to do with those found in a hamburger!
Chia seeds contain mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids, with a predominance of omega 3 fatty acids over omega-6 fatty acids. This is a big advantage of this product because in our diet there is usually a large advantage of omega-6 acids over omega-3, which promotes the emergence of inflammation and the development of civilization diseases.
The omega 3 acids found in these seeds are alpha-lipoic acid, which may not be as strong as the eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids found in oily fish but still have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.
Plant products sometimes contain a bit of protein, but usually, there is too little to supplement the needs of an active person. Chia seeds are a product that contradicts this principle. In one spoon we find almost 2 grams of protein, which is abundant with all 9 essential amino acids, which is why it is great for anyone who wants to improve the appearance of the figure.
The addition of chia seeds to the meal will be a great way to increase the total protein content and improve the taste of the dish.
High fiber content
One of the biggest advantages of chia seed consumption is its high fiber content. One spoon contains almost 4 grams, while in 100 grams of chia seeds we find 40 grams of fiber! Very helpful for anyone who has problems with providing the right amount of this ingredient in their diet.
Chia seeds contain about five times more insoluble than soluble fiber, thanks to which they have relatively strong water-absorbing properties. At the same time, such a fiber composition in chia seeds, it can pass toxins embedded on the walls of the intestine through the digestive system.
In addition to the detoxification properties, the consumption of chia seeds and fiber contained in them can be a useful tool in the fight against overweight and insulin resistance. This is due to the slowing of the passage of nutrients from the stomach to the small intestine. Food remaining for longer in the gastrointestinal tract, provides continuous stimulation of its receptors, affecting post-prandial saturation.
This was presented in 2010 by a team of scientists from Canada who gave participants of their study a portion of carbohydrates in the form of bread and addition of chia seeds in an amount of 0, 7, 15 or 24 grams depending on the group. With the increase in the chia seed does, saturation increased proportionally, and the blood sugar level dropped, suggesting a slow absorption.
Chia seeds are also abundant with powerful antioxidants that help us fight diseases and negative stress effects. They can traverse the body and dispose of debilitating free radicals. As a result, they counteract the peroxidation of cell membranes, leading to a reduction in the risk of cancer.
Chocolate compounds that we find in them are mainly responsible for the antioxidant properties of chia seeds, in particular, caffeic acid and gallic acid. Some publications suggest that chia seeds may have antioxidant properties comparable to Trolox, a derivative of vitamin E, considered to be an extremely potent ingredient.
It has been confirmed that chia seeds have anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells from various tissues. The research focused in particular on the reduction of the risk of breast, cervical and skin cancer.
The fats contained in the chia seeds favorably affect the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids in cancer cells. Preliminary studies in rats also show that groups fed Spanish sage has a smaller mass of tumors, indicating their smaller growth rate.