Chia seeds are good for your waistline, workout and wallet.
By Tiffani Bachus, RD photography Maya Visnyei
Small and crunchy chia seeds deliver a big bite of benefits for active women, particularly if fat loss is your prerogative. By simply sprinkling some onto your clean meals, such as oatmeal, shakes, yogurt or muffins, you’ll be helping your body achieve a number of fit-body goals. Just check out what these tiny but mighty versatile seeds can do for you:
Promote fat loss
If your breakfast fails to keep you feeling full through your a.m. meetings or workouts, try tossing in a tablespoon of chia seeds. When chia is mixed with water, it forms a gel-like substance that slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates by digestive enzymes and their conversion into sugar, keeping your blood sugar levels lower and steadier for a longer period of time. A study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects who consumed chia seeds reported greater satiety at 60, 90 and 120 minutes after a meal. That extended feeling of fullness is largely due to chia’s fibre content (six grams per tablespoon). Fibre keeps you feeling full longer, your digestive system running smoothly (by acting as a natural detoxifying agent), and helps balance blood sugar.
According to Aztec folklore, chia seeds were known as the “running food,” as messengers could reportedly run all day on just a handful. Chia’s secret? Credit their high amount of healthy fats, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. Just one tablespoon boasts 1.2 grams of ALA – that’s more healthy fat than found in the same serving of flaxseed. Fat yields nine calories per gram, so you only need a little bit of chia in your meals to boost their energising power. Chia seeds are also a good source of an endurance-boosting flavonoid called quercetin.
Fend off soreness
Source Url: http://www.oxygenmag.com.au/Health/tabid/621/entryid/940/All-Day-Energy.aspx
More energy allows you to work out harder and longer, yielding better results quicker. At the same time, however, rigorous and regular training inevitably causes free-radical damage to your muscle cells, which can lead to inflammation. Eating more antioxidantrich and anti-inflammatory foods can help you recover faster from your workouts. As mentioned, chia seeds are loaded with inflammation- fighting fats, but what you may not know is that they also contain about as many antioxidants as the same serving of blueberries, according to the Nutritional Science Research Institute.
Try this pre-workout meal: PB and Strawberry Chia Jam Sandwich: Ready in 25 minutes • Makes 1 serving
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
8 fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1/4 tsp orange zest
1 slice wholegrain bread
1 tbsp raw natural peanut butter or almond butter