The medicinal values of chia seeds one of the most healthiest foods in the world
Protein and omega fatty acid-packed chia seeds have been used in Central American folk medicine for centuries. They have exceptional health benefits and are easily one of the best food items you should be eating to promote good health. Find out how you can benefit from ailments by introducing chia seeds into your diet.
Chia seeds, native to Mexico and Guatemala, have been used in folk medicine in these regions for centuries. Aztecs, Mayans, Native Americans and other ancient civilisations used chia seeds to manage physical conditions.
Chia seeds come from Salvia Hispanica, a plant related to the mint family. These are small black seeds that packed with nutrients that pack a healthy punch.
Colds and sore throats
Native Americans have used chia seeds to treat sore throats and colds. To treat a sore throat, soak some chia seeds in water and leave it overnight. The next morning, swallow the soaked chia seeds and you may find some relief with time. This benefit may come from the fact that chia seed oil acts as an emollient, or softening agent, that soothes inflamed mucous membranes and irritated skin in the throat.
Native American women would often be given chia seeds to eat so that they had an easier childbirth. Recent studies have found that this may be because of the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids present in large quantities in these seeds. These omega fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Many people eat chia seeds to reduce inflammation and cramping.
In fact, chia seeds can also treat bloating and constipation that women often experience before and during menstruation.
Chia seeds are rich in fibre. 100 grammes of chia seeds contains as much as 34 grammes of dietary fibre. Because of this high fibre content, the seeds can absorb a lot of water. In fact, the seeds can absorb as much as fifteen times of its weight in water. When soaked in water before consuming, or when digested, the seeds become a gelatinous mass. This not only gives you a feeling of satiety after eating, it also makes bowel movements smooth. You feel full for longer and eat less throughout the day.
Diabetics often take chia seeds in the belief that it can help to manage their diabetes. There is not enough research to show whether the seeds have a direct impact on blood sugar metabolism. But there is some indirect evidence to suggest that these seeds can protect diabetics from the heart disease and strokes they are more vulnerable to.
There is some evidence to suggest that chia seeds can lower blood pressure. Research has also shown that it may lower blood clotting. What this means is, eating chia seeds will cause less clotting. Blood clotting can often lead to strokes or heart attacks. In other words, including chia seeds into the regular diet may help diabetics stay safe against this type of heart attack.
At the same time, the high fibre content of the seeds may encourage the slow and steady release of blood sugar throughout the day.
Chia seed oil may also help to reduce itching with regular application. Using a lotion containing the oil for eight weeks on affected skin can give you relief from itching. There is a lot of research that still needs to be done to confirm this observation. But meanwhile, many people have found relief with this remedy.
Chia seeds may also be used to lower triglycerides, though there is not enough research and scientific evidence yet to confirm this.
Chia seeds pack a potent nutritional punch
Do not right chia seeds off because of their small size. These tiny seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds provide the following nutrients –
Useful nuggets of information on chia seeds
A very informative article on chia seeds. The word ‘chia' means strength. These seeds are known to have been grown in Mexico since Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Chia seeds contain a high percentage of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and are an excellent source of fibers. This makes it perfect as an energy food which helps in keeping a person full for longer period and as a consequence, supports weight loss.
However chia seeds are not easily available nor popular in India. These are not pocket-friendly also.