Chia is an herb grown natively in Mexico, and frequently used in both regular meals and as a nutritious snack while participating in endurance events. The seeds from a chia plant are popular among ardent barefoot runners, as they are a healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. Also, chia seeds are one of the only plant-based complete protein sources. Below are even more reasons to start adding chia seeds to your diet.
If you’re familiar with the book, Born To Run, you’re familiar with the Tarahumara Indian tribe. These native Mexicans are legendary for incredible endurance runs, some of which go on for over 100 miles in a single session. Chia seeds are a key component in the Tarahumara diet, both during a race and in daily meals.
When soaked, chia seeds can hold 12 times their weight in water, and they form a gel-like substance (almost like those expensive GU Energy packets). When you consume them during a long run, the chia seeds keep you hydrated by releasing the water slowly and evenly. Carrying a plastic baggy is much easier than running with multiple water bottles.
Chia Seeds & Appetite
Chia seeds are nutritionally dense, meaning they are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, all three macro nutrients. When the body is low on one of these, appetite kicks in and you’re reaching for the jar of peanut butter again. Including chia seeds in your daily diet ensures that you will have all the nutrients you need, and therefore your appetite won’t be triggered unless you truly need to eat. This is perfect for those looking to lose weight without chemical appetite suppressants or other risky and unnatural methods.
Chia Seeds & Cholesterol
Chia seeds aren’t low-fat, but they actually work to clean out bad cholesterol clogged in your arteries. The chia seeds are high in insoluble fiber, which works its way through your intestine and absorbs excess water. This, in turn, effectively moves food through your body cleaner and quicker. The unsaturated fatty acids found in chia seeds also work to lower LDL and total cholesterol level.You- with wild blood sugar swings
Chia Seeds & Blood Sugar
If you’re looking for a way to stabilize blood sugar, chia seeds are the winning ticket. Sugar-based food wreak havoc on your glucose levels and cause them to fluctuate wildly throughout the day. When this happens, you will be really hyped up and excited for a little while, and then sleepy and sluggish thirty minutes later. Since chia seeds are high in dietary fiber, consuming them slows the conversion of starches into sugar. In this way, blood sugar remains steady, keeping your energy levels high all day long.
As you can see, chia seeds are an awesome addition to your diet, especially if you’re an endurance runner. One more thing- chia seeds are gluten-free! Make sure you buy from a trusted supplier, so you don’t wind up with stale or expired food.