A superfood worthy of the superfood name, chia seeds are some of the healthiest foods that you can find out there. Not only are they full of nutrients, but they bring in some resounding health benefits as well. These small seeds come from the Salvia Hispanica plant, originating from South America. During human history, these seeds were used by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs for their claimed energy boosting effects.
The fiber of Chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times its weight in water. As the water is absorbed the chia seeds will expand in the stomach creating a greater feeling of fullness. For this reason, Chia seeds can be used to reduce appetite and food cravings. This soluble fiber has another benefit in that it feeds your gut flora...the good bacteria necessary for digestive and immune health.
Chia seeds are going to excel as an antioxidant superfood fighting the damaging effects of free radicals on our cells. The benefits of antioxidant defense may slow the aging process of our cells and the development of cancers.
Two standout benefits for hemp seeds, even among its superfoods peers, are going to be its use as a complete protein source and it’s high ideal ratio of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
As a complete protein, hemp seeds supply all of the essential amino acids we are required to pull from our foods. This is impressive as not many plant-based proteins are considered complete - most lacking in the essential amino acid lysine.
2 to 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds as stated from Authority Nutrition are going to boast an impressive 11 grams of protein which, by weight, is on the level of animal protein sources!
Comprised of 30% fatty acids. Hemp seeds is at the top of the list in our line up for healthy fats. Not only because these levels are high, but also because they come in the ideal ratio...that would be 3 parts omega-6 fats for every 1 part omega-3, which is considered to be the optimal range. Studies indicate Omega 3 & 6 fats to benefit our immune response as well as our skin health!
The seed contains a high amount of arginine, an amino acid known to produce nitric oxide which dilates the blood vessels increasing the blood circulation. The relaxed blood vessels then allow for lower blood pressure and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
The study cited from the Authority Nutrition article supports a reduced heart disease claim. The study tracked over 13,000 people, successfully linking increased levels of arginine with the decrease in inflammatory marker CRP or C-reactive protein.
Gamma-linolenic acid or GLA is the other unsung hero of hemp seeds. Not only is GLA linked to reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of heart disease, gamma-linolenic acid may also help in regulating hormone imbalances and the inflammation linked to menopause. When studied, the physical pain and emotional symptoms associated with PMS were powerfully reduced when PMS sufferers took one gram of essential fatty acids including 210 mg GLA daily.
Flax seeds are also known as linseeds or common flax. They come from the Middle East, and they have been gaining a lot of popularity recently. Flax seeds are going to be top tier on our list on fiber to aid in digestive health.
Do you have any issues with regularity? Flax can help with that. If digestive health is a topic of concern for you, you may be familiar with fibers its many benefits. Let's take a closer look at the components of fiber. Fiber is made up between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Fiber is essential for digestive health, regularity, and the normalization of blood sugar.
The soluble fiber will regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. And overwhelming evidence continues to reveal that soluble fiber is critical for feeding our beneficial gut bacteria. Insoluble fiber passes through our digestive tract, helping to pass through waste more effectively.
As we already discussed with the high fiber content of Chia seeds, the soluble fiber in flax will also be effective in reducing food cravings. And similar to hemp seeds, flax seeds will be a good source of arginine along with its nitric oxide benefits.
Raw Cacao coming from the seed of a cocoa tree is a very impressive superfood full of antioxidants compounds like flavanols and polyphenols.
With such astounding health benefits, flavanols should be on everyone's go to pick up list. Similar to arginine, benefits includes the production of nitric oxide. As we mentioned before, the nitric oxide created will relax blood vessels for lower blood pressure effects reducing the risk of HBP and heart disease.
But the benefits don't stop there! Flavonols have been shown to have skin protective qualities against UVB rays! In the study, 30 people consumed dark chocolate for 12 weeks and thereby doubled their resistance of UVB ray damage!
And it doesn't stop there! A study of volunteers consuming flavanol rich dark chocolate for 5 days resulted in improved blood flow to the brain.
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Turmeric can be so powerful as an anti-inflammatory that some studies have chosen turmeric to perform similar to the potency of anti inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs.
The bioactive substance in turmeric, curcumin, fights inflammation at the molecular level and also helps stimulate the body’s own antioxidant enzymes activity.
Decreased levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) have been linked to depression and Alzheimer’s. According to the research, turmeric can increase the brain levels of BDNF, thereby delaying and even reducing brain related diseases.
You can see turmeric in Frozen Garden smoothie Detox
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