Chia Seeds: Ultimate Guide to Health Benefits and Nutrients

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Chia seeds are an ancient food that comes from a plant native to Central America. The Mayans, Inca and Aztecs were aware of its ability to give strength and endurance. Are you?

Their warriors and athletes used it as efficient fuel for even their biggest challenges. In fact, the Mayan word for “strength” is CHIA!

These ancient muscle builders relied on chia for good reason.

Chai Seeds – Fuel For Warriors

To build muscle you’re going to need more than hours of hard work at the gym. It is essential to give your body the right fuel to achieve your gym goals.

Experts agree that your diet should consist of a fully rounded approach, one that includes essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and of course, good protein. Each of these nutrients interacts to create the optimal environment to help you build muscle and make that muscle lean.

It can seem impossible to integrate all of these recommended nutrients into your diet.

Enter chia seed. This phenomenal little seed is absolutely PACKED with fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Much like a multivitamin, chia seeds make it possible to consume a rich amount of nutrients all at the same time.

We know you’re busy, and it can be hard to wade through all the information out there. To help you better understand chia seeds, this article will discuss the vast nutrients present in chia, how they amp muscle building, and some recommendations on usage.

Chia Seeds

9 Muscle Building Nutrients in Chia Seeds

#1 Protein

Protein builds muscle. You know this. You consume ample protein pre and post workout. You up your protein for recovery. You carefully monitor your protein intake. We don’t have to tell you how NECESSARY protein is for seeing results at the gym.

Chia seeds are stuffed with protein. In fact, unlike many plant sources of protein, it contains all 9 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein! Chia seed contains up to 2X more protein than many grains.

#2 Fiber

It can be difficult to get enough fiber in our daily diet. There’s only so much broccoli a person can handle, right?

Fiber is often overlooked in its vital role in aiding muscle growth. It is essential for your digestion, and acts almost like a garbage disposal as it removes the waste created by muscle growth.

This includes waste from muscle tears and new muscle being added. Your body has to flush that waste for muscle growth to occur, so fiber is crucial for lean muscle building.

In conclusion? It’s not just about the protein shakes!! Want to reap the most benefits from your grueling gym sessions? Eat more fiber!

Just one tablespoon of chia seeds provides about a third of the daily-recommended serving of fiber!

#3 Healthy Fat

For years fat has been the bad guy. But as we are learning, it’s all about the KIND of fat you consume. A lot of the time, fat is just what you need. You need more of the right kind on your plate and less of the bad kind covering up your hard-earned abs. A LOT of the good fats are actually found in the proteins we consume.

The protein found in chia seed contains essential fatty acids including omega-3 fatty acids. The form of omega-3 found in chia seeds is alpha-linoleic acid or ALA, which is only found in plant-based proteins. These essential fatty acids may take longer for your body to utilize than those found in fish, but the fact remains….they WILL boost heart and brain health.

Freebie: Some studies even suggest that those who have a diet rich in alpha-linoleic acid are less likely to die of a heart attack, and that regular consumption of ALA actually reduces the risk of heart disease.

#4 Thiamine

You know what it’s like when you’ve crushed it at the gym, are super pleased with yourself and then wake up the next day with searing muscle pain. Nothing can steal a warrior’s glory faster. For that you can partly thank oxalates.

Oxalates seriously contribute to muscle pain. Oxalates prevent absorption of calcium, participate in the formation of kidney stones, and also make your body way too acidic. Killjoy much?

Thiamine rids your muscles of these oxalates! Therefore, adding chia seeds into your diet can aid in pain reduction.

#5 Magnesium

Magnesium nourishes your muscles and joints. Soft tissue injuries, inflammation, cramping muscles…the pain involved can be brutal. Magnesium will aid both in prevention and help promote healing when any of these occur in your muscles.

#6 Zinc

Zinc promotes recovery. The presence of zinc in the body provides immunity support and healing for muscle tears. These nurturing benefits of zinc will boost muscle recovery.

On top of this, zinc actually produces testosterone. Because zinc can be lost through sweating, this mineral is highly necessary for bodybuilders and athletes (and warriors, too!)

#7 Antioxidants

We’ve all heard about antioxidants. The hype can make them seem like just another fad. But you’ve heard about them for GOOD REASON.

Antioxidants will fight free radicals, battle against diseases, and reduce your risk for serious illnesses such as cancer. They do this by building your immune system. As you know, a healthy immune system is essential to heavy lifting. Best part? Chia seeds are an excellent source of these important nutrients.

#8 Calcium

Calcium builds healthy bones. Easy.

Next level? Calcium also promotes muscle health by ensuring the proper transmitting of information to nerve fibers. That communication helps your muscle function properly! It prevents deficiencies which can cause muscle twitching or painful spasms.

Nothing ends a gym session quicker than a nasty spasm. Think ahead! Just a few seeds might prevent you from having to pack up early.

#9 Iron

Because your workout is both intensive and consistent, this can deplete iron in the body. Iron is necessary for your immune system and is essential to creating red blood cells. Iron is key in transporting oxygen to your brain and muscles!

Your body does not make iron naturally, so you have to find this in iron-rich foods such as lean protein, chia seeds, eggs, etc. If you are low in iron, you will feel lethargic and irritable, which is not a good combination when you’re trying to focus on building lean muscle. Eating chia is a safe and reliable way of adding iron to your diet.

Bonus Nutrient: Chia seeds also contain high amounts of phosphorous, which aids in cell and tissue growth. That is absolutely vital when you’re looking to see gains!

Chia Seeds

NutraKey Chia Seed is a muscle-building supplement that provides 1200 mg of chia. Click here to order now.

Chia Seeds – Better Than Flax?

You probably have heard by now just how amazing flaxseed is because it contains tons of nutrients like protein, fiber, etc. Because we’ve been aware of flaxseed for a long time, many people may still think flaxseed is the best choice for their diets.

However, with many of the similar health benefits of flax, chia comes out on top in a few key ways:

  • Chia seeds contain even more nutrients than those found in flaxseed.
  • You don’t have to grind it first! Flax has always been inconvenient because it must be ground before the body is able to access the nutrients within.
  • Flax also has a short shelf life and quickly turns rancid. Chia seeds, on the other hand, don’t have to be refrigerated! They maintain their nutrients even when stored for a couple years. The last thing you need is to add any extra (unnecessary) tasks to your daily routine.
  • Chia seed is an easy option for adding health benefits to your life without a lot of extra effort.

Chia – Your Lean Muscle Building Ally

Passion drives what you fight for, and pushing yourself to the next level is always part of that drive. Developing lean muscle isn’t easy, and that’s what makes it worth fighting for. But just like you need a friend to spot for you, you need supplements as allies, too.

Chia seeds are such an ally!

The tiny white and black seeds are intensely hydrophilic. This means each seed can absorb up to 14x’s its weight when soaked in water. As chia seeds absorb water, they becomes gelatinous. Due to this absorbency, chia acts as a body hydrator, as it also retains electrolytes. Of course, this will ensure your body remains healthier while you exercise.

Not only does it help maintain electrolyte balance, but this same gelatinous substance in your stomach delays the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body. This is important because it provides a sustained slow release of energy. This ups endurance, especially when you’re in it for the long haul.

Deadlifts

On top of helping you stay hydrated, maintaining electrolyte balance, and enabling you to train harder longer, the chia seed gel actually works to reduce your appetite. Consuming chia will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.

The same slowing of the digestive process that gives you more energy also equates to a reduction in the amount of carbs available to feed stomach fat cells. This cuts the fat around your middle which will help your muscles claim the spotlight they deserve.

As you develop a smaller waistline from your diet, it means more of your gym time can be devoted to sculpting muscle rather than eliminating fat.

Also, stomach fat puts stress on your heart. Less stomach fat is not only good for your physique, it means your overall body health is improved.

Where Can I Find Chia Seeds?

It is becoming increasingly easy to find this at your local grocery store or at health food stores. You can consume chia seeds in their naturally occurring form as whole seeds. When eaten, chia seeds are virtually tasteless and a little bit crunchy.

If you do eat chia seeds in their natural form, it is important to soak them first for easier digestion.

Without being presoaked they will also draw water from your body, which will undo their potential value in strengthening your electrolyte balance. A nice soak will help unlock the layers of nutrients.

Wanna skip the soaking hassle? Chia is also available for fast and easy absorption in a pure supplement form for MAX bioavailabilty.

Is It Safe and Stackable?

Just like you would never jerk your deadlift, you should never take supplements without being informed first.

SO, is the chia seed safe? Yes. But here are a couple things you should know.

Because chia seeds contain an element called Phytic Acid, you don’t want to gorge yourself on these babies. Phytic Acid is an anti-nutrient, and is present in other grains and seeds. Even though phytates occur in chia, it contains a lower content level of the acid than in other foods such as nuts.

Some people have found that eating large amounts of chia seeds may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. If this happens to you, discontinue use of chia seeds and consult your healthcare professional.

Chia SeedsIt is possible to reduce the negative effect of Phytic Acid by soaking the seeds prior to eating them. And of course, consuming chia seeds in proper serving sizes is recommended.

You’re already careful with the things you put into your body. So make sure that you are always eating chia seeds that are Organic and Non-GMO to avoid placing harmful toxins into your body.

And yes, chia is safe to use in conjunction with other health and nutrition supplements such as protein, stimulants, vitamins, etc.

Let’s Review…

There are A LOT of essential muscle building nutrients in chia seeds! With all these in mind, it’s easy to see why ancient warriors depended on them to fuel their conquests. The health benefits of this ancient superfood make chia a vital health supplement for muscle building. So come on, get your muscles on fleek with chia seed!

  • Ancient superfood that aids in warrior strength
  • Provides your body with a complete protein
  • Works as a fat loss aid
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Maximizes performance by giving you energy
  • Balances your electrolytes, keeping you hydrated longer
  • Gives your body fiber which flushes waste, aiding in muscle gain
  • Amps your calcium intake, which is vital for bone and muscle health
  • Replenishes iron levels which increases oxygen flow to muscles
  • Provides thiamine to rid your body of harmful and painful oxalates
  • Adds magnesium to nourish your muscles and joints
  • Supplies zinc to promote muscle recovery and immune system health
References

1) “Chia Seeds Uses and Benefits.” Wellness Mama. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
2) “MF Super Food: Chia Seed.” Men’s Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
3) “Fit Food: The Benefits of Chia Seeds.” Men’s Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
4) “9 Reasons You Should Be Eating Chia Seeds.” FitBodyHQ. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
5) “Alpha-linolenic Acid.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
6) “8 Delicious Ways to Use Chia Seeds.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
7) “What Role Does Fiber Play in Muscle Building?” Healthy Eating | SF Gate. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
8) “Why Do You Need Calcium? | Ask Dr Sears.” Ask Dr Sears® | The Trusted Resource for Parents. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
9) “What Athletes Need to Know About Iron Deficiency.” Breaking Muscle. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
10) “MF Super Food: Chia Seed.” Men’s Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
11) “Chia Seed – The Muhammad Ali of Nutrition.” Breaking Muscle. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
12) “Chia Seed Benefits: Burn Fat & Get Ripped | Muscle & Fitness.” Muscle & Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
13) “Healing Soft Tissue Injuries: Muscles, Tendons, Fascia and More.” ProHealth.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
14) “Zinc Supplements for Strength & Muscle Weight Training.” About.com Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
15) “Antioxidants: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.

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