Chia or also known as Salvia hispanica, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to Guatemala and Mexico. There is evidence that it was cultivated by the Aztec, and was given as an annual tribute by the people to the rulers.
Chia seeds are highly beneficial for your overall health. They can promote digestive and heart health, reduce signs of aging, help to lose weight, fight cancer, build stronger bones and muscles, etc.
In fact, one of the greatest things about these seeds is they have the ability to boost your energy levels. The Mayan and Aztec warriors were a real proof of this. They tend to consume chia seeds during their battles which help them to boost the energy and strength. Actually, the word chia in the Mayan language means “strength”. The Tarahumara tribe in Mexico called these seeds “running food”. The members of this tribe regularly consume chia seeds and water, which boost their energy levels, giving them the ability to run very long distances (100 miles and more)!
The numerous benefits of these amazing seeds are due to their rich nutritious content: antioxidants, vitamin A, B, E, D, copper, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, dietary fiber, protein, and omega3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
How Chia Fights Tiredness and Fatigue
Chia seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which can regulate the function of glands, reduce the risk of inflammation, and fight adrenal fatigue. These fatty acids are not produced by our body, so we need to intake them through our diet. The combination of fatty acids with dietary fiber and protein can help to maintain blood sugar and insulin levels balanced, and prevent the “afternoon sugar crashes” which in most cases lead to overeating and cravings.
Chia seeds have the ability to slow the sugar absorption and the process of converting carbs and sugars into energy, thus leading to a more sustained energy which will last for a longer period of time.
Athletes and people who exercise regularly are recommended to consume chia seeds before and after training.
Despite having the ability to boost energy, chia seeds are able to provide hydration to your body and reduce joint inflammation, thus helping your muscles to recover after the training.
How to Consume Chia Seeds
The best way to consume chia seeds is to soak them because this will make them easier to digest, and the nutrients inside the seeds will be used up more efficiently. You should add 1 ½ tablespoons of chia seeds in 1 cup of water, and leave them for 1-2 hours. The seeds will form a gel.
You can also consume them whole or ground. You can add whole chia seeds (soaked or dry) to plain or lemon water, smoothies, yogurt, milk, salads, omelets, and cereals.
Grind them in a coffee machine which can break down the hard shell and prevent them from sticking between your teeth. In this way, you will be able to add them to your cakes, muffins, pancakes, pasta, and bread. Store the ground chia seeds in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator.
Use organic chia seeds and drink plenty of water because of their rich content of fiber. It is recommended to consume 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds a day.