Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia for Gluten Free Diet
Upon first hearing about “chia,” I have to admit I automatically thought of the jingle “ch-ch-ch-chia,” that’s used to market the popular Chia Pet, but that’s not why I’m bringing chia to your attention!
Due to the fact that chia is marketed less as a food, chia seeds are not widely known for their amazing health benefits, but they are in fact extremely nutritious, edible seeds that you can buy at any good health food store. Regulated as a food by the FDA and a member of the mint family called Salvia hispanica, chia seeds are quickly becoming the latest health food craze, and for good reason.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Chia
1. Reduce cravings and hunger.
A great source of soluble fiber, when mixed with water, chia seeds form an almost solid gelatin. The same reaction takes place in the stomach when we eat them, helping us to stay fuller for longer. Awesome!
2. Help control blood sugar.
This same gelatin substance that forms in the stomach, also creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive system enzymes, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. A major plus for diabetics!
3. Increase Energy.
Thanks to their natural ability to slow down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar, chia seeds are a great source of sustained energy to help increase endurance.
4. High in omega-3 fatty acids.
Providing copious amounts of nutrients such as protein, fiber, antioxidants and most importantly essential fatty acids, these mighty little seeds really pack a punch. They contain over 60% essential fatty acids and more omega-3s than flax seed. According to living-foods.com they also provide three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. These are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K. If you want brain food, there is not better source!
5. Keep us hydrated.
As already described, chia seeds absorb water, 12 times their weight in fact. Eating this superfood will in turn keep you hydrated. As we already know, fluids and electrolytes are extremely important to support the life of all the body’s cells. “With Chia seeds, you retain moisture, regulate, more efficiently, the bodies absorption of nutrients and body fluids,” explains living-foods.com
6. Help build muscle.
An excellent source of protein, chia seeds make a great addition to any weight management program to help build lean muscle. They are also low-carb and support weight loss. An ounce of chia seeds only provides 137 calories!
An ideal food for people with a gluten intolerance, these seeds are a gluten-free source of fiber. Chia contains both soluble and insoluble fiber that supports a healthy digestive system. Plus, unlike flax seed, chia seeds don’t need to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.