What Are Chia Seeds?
We live in a world of medical and dietary fads. It seems as though every week there is some new exercise you should be doing, or new food you should be eating that can improve your health. One of these claims that deserve to be investigated is chia seeds. You may be familiar with the little green plant that grows out of a chia pet. The seeds of this plant are known as chia seeds. Chia seeds are the seeds of a Mexican plant that is officially named Salvia hispanica. Mexican folklore that dates back to ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures states that chia seeds used to be like an energy booster.
Modern medicine has determined this makes sense as they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, carbs, fiber, antioxidants, and even calcium. Recently they have even been advertised as a weight loss aid! However, memory is what we are most concerned with. Can something so simple really be used to improve memory?
What Are Chia Seeds Made Up Of?
It was stated earlier that chia seeds are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. But what do these all do? And, can they help your memory? Let’s start with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been praised as a great brain food. Studies have shown that they help with depression and even ADHD symptoms. When it comes to memory results are mixed. Some researchers claim that omega-3 fatty acids keep your brain free from plaque and help brain cells communicate with one another. This is because fatty acids make cell membranes more flexible and efficient. When nerve impulses travel through the brain, the increased efficiency is definitely beneficial for memory. This would help to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Another study states they increase brain volume that would certainly help with memory. Carbohydrates, fiber, and calcium do not help or hinder memory, but antioxidants certainly do. Antioxidants have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and attack bad cholesterol, both of which may improve memory. It seems there is enough information to back up the claim that chia seeds do in fact help your memory, or at least prevent disease.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
What Else Are Chia Seeds Good For?
Besides the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, there is fiber and calcium also in chia seeds. Although they may not help your memory, it is important to have fiber and calcium in your diet as well. Fiber is very good for your digestive tract, helps to lower cholesterol levels, and controls blood sugar. Calcium is important in maintaining strong bones. Studies are underway to determine whether or not calcium helps with cholesterol levels. It is hypothesized that it can improve blood sugar as well.
How Do You Incorporate Chia Seeds Into Your Diet?
With their health and memory benefits already proven, the next step is to figure out how to consume chia seeds. Chia seeds can be incorporated into one’s diet very easily. Chia seeds are essentially tasteless which makes them very flexible. They can be used to add a flavor or texture boost to any meal you wish. When mixed with water they form a sort of gel that can be consumed or cooked with.
Sometimes chia seeds are baked into bread, cookies, or other baked goods. It is very common to sprinkle them on top of yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal as well. Depending on body size, you should consume about forty to fifty grams of chia seeds per day. Some may think that this sounds too good to be true. However, there are no noticeable downsides to eating chia seeds.
- Sprinkle on yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal
- Add to a smoothie
- Bake them into cookies, bread, etc.
Must Watch – The Benefits and The Truth About Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have a long history dating back to ancient Central America. More recently, they have been proven to have a number of health benefits. They are advertised as a weight loss aid and the ultimate brain food. The omega-3 fatty acids they contain as well as the antioxidants are sure to help with brain function and memory. The fiber and calcium they have provides benefits above and beyond mental health. They are very easy to incorporate into your diet and can be added to a whole variety of foods and baked goods.
After several studies were done to them, there appears to be no downside to chia seeds at all. Of course you can eat too much of anything, but, if you follow the recommended amounts you should remain completely fine. In fact, you should be feeling better overall in no time. Whether they have the energy boosting effect of MexicMexican folklore or if they give your memory the boost it needs, there is no reason not to incorporate chia seeds into your diet.