Chia seeds: source of many nutrients
Chia seeds can make a positive contribution to your health as a woman, because these little black seeds contain many of the nutrients we need on a daily basis. In addition, it can also help you stabilize your blood sugar and can make your intestines happy too. I do eat a tablespoon of ground chia seeds every few days. Let me explain why.
What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds come from the Chia plant (Salvia Hispanica); a Mexican relative of the mint plant. The flowers of this plant produce tiny seeds that look a bit like poppy seeds you may be familiar with. This plant was used for thousands of years by the Mayas and Aztecs, among others, as food and as medicine. The seeds were particularly known for giving an energy boost and increasing endurance: when the warriors of the Aztecs had to run long distances, they were given a handful of chia seeds.
What do chia seeds do?
To give you an idea, chia seeds contain magnesium, omega 3fatty acids, calcium, proteins, selenium, iron, potassium and plenty fiber. Our intestines in particular need plenty of fiber in order to continue to do their job properly.
In my opinion, many women 40+ are nutritionally malnourished. Chia seeds are a great source to supplement several important nutrients. Recent research has shown that you first have to grind chia seed in a coffee grinder, for example; this releases the nutrients. Unground chia seeds do provide the fiber your intestines need.
Chia seeds help to balance your blood levels
If you soak chia seeds in water for ten minutes, the whole will become a bit jelly. If this jelly enters your stomach, it ensures that the conversion of carbohydrates to sugars / glucose is slowed down. This helps to keep your blood sugar in balance , so that less insulin needs to be created.
In addition, less insulin production contributes to easier weight loss. Thanks to the jelly effect you also have a full feeling earlier, which may be nice for you if you want to lose weight.
Chia seeds help to build muscle
Chia seeds are rich in proteins , which you need to make muscles and build other tissue in your body. Ideal for the sports woman who works on the conversion of fat to muscle through strength training. Muscles consume more calories at rest than fat, so more muscle is also very good for you if you want to reach your healthy weight.
Calcium absorption for your bones and heart
Chia seeds also contribute to a good absorption of calcium ; the most important building material for our bones, which we as women 40+ must be careful with. This in contrast to milk, which extracts calcium from your bones. Good calcium absorption is also important for muscle contraction and relaxation. Remember that your heart is also a muscle. Very important for women 40+ because many more women die of cardiovascular disease than for example cancer.
Important source of omega 3; the food for your brain
Omega 3 inhibits inflammation and can therefore lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega 3 is also important food for your brain. Do you feel like you have cotton wool in your head? Soak a handful of chia seeds in a large glass of water and drink it. Drink a second glass because water itself is also very good for your brain!
Side effects of chia seeds; pay attention!
Your body is the best advisor and is always right. Chia seeds are not suitable for everyone. It can cause bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and nausea. This is often caused by the many fibers it contains. Then build it up slowly. If you suffer from blockage, these fibers are an advantage. But be sure to drink enough water, otherwise the many fibers can lead to blockage. If you suffer from constipation, always eat plenty of vegetables, these are the best “pacemakers” you can eat!
What sometimes helps is to let the seeds soak first. Chia seeds, like unroasted nuts and seeds, have an enzyme coating that is difficult for your intestines to digest. Some people experience the aforementioned intestinal complaints because of this. There are also people who get an allergic reaction from chia seeds. Again, your body is always right, cut down or stop chia seeds if you feel like it’s not good for you.
Also watch out for the blood-thinning effect
Therefore, there is a contraindication with blood thinners, antihypertensive drugs and diuretics. This means that it is better not to use chia seeds when using these medications. See if you can taper off the blood pressure lowering drugs and build up the use of chia seeds in consultation with your doctor. Chia seeds are more natural to your body than medicines.
So be careful if you have one too low blood pressure have; even then chia seeds are not suitable for you. Take a look at my other superfoods such as hemp seed, spirulina, chlorella and goji berries.
How do you use chia seeds?
Chia seeds are very easy to use in many ways. Make a gel by soaking it in water and use it as the basis for your homemade muesli breakfast. You can also sprinkle it on a salad, on your rice cake with avocado spread, salmon or almond paste, or use it in a smoothie. Mix it with your quinoa. As with everything, also here: eat it in moderation and alternate with other superfoods.
Many health food stores and web stores nowadays sell chia seeds. Pay close attention to its quality and preferably choose organic.
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