What Are Chia Seeds? - A Nutritional Powerhouse!
Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds native to Mexico which come from a flowering plant ‘Salvia Hispanica’ which is related to the mint family.
Don’t be fooled by their size as they do pack a nutritional punch. In fact, chia comes from the Mayan word meaning ‘strength’ and these seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans as they prized their ability to fuel performance and provide long-lasting energy.
They were also used for medicinal purposes.
Rich in nutrients and so easy to use, they can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to porridge, puddings, and baked goods, and even included into your smoothies, breakfasts, yogurt, salads, quinoa and veggie dishes.
They also have an amazing ability to absorb water and fat, so they can be used to thicken sauces or as a vegan egg substitute in recipes too!
Watch this video to find out more................
Here are 23 amazing benefits of Chia Seeds
1. Fiber Source
A mere 28 grams or a single-ounce serving of chia contains 11 grams of dietary fiber.
That is around 1/3 of the recommended daily consumption for adults.
Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is an effortless way to make certain you are consuming a decent amount of fiber, which is vital for digestive health.
2. Vegans and Vegetarians Friendly
Firstly, as they are only one ingredient, chia seeds are raw, gluten, dairy, grain, egg and nut free and also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
3. Weight Loss Aid
Chia seeds are reputed for weight loss. They have the ability to reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food you’ve just consumed from getting absorbed. This obstruction of calories from being absorbed qualifies them as an excellent diet aid, without the harmful side effects or questionable ingredients.
A high antioxidant capacity that can stop up to 70% of free radical activity, and has three times the antioxidant activity compared to blueberries.
5. Use it for ‘breading'
Chia seeds by itself or mixed with almond flour and garlic powder make for a good coating for breading fish or chicken, as it toasts up well and gives it a nice crunch without the strong, nutty aftertaste
6. Chia Seeds Are Typically Non-GMO And Grown Organically
Chia seeds are organic, raw, Non-GMO, non-irradiated, and produced without pesticides which means they’re one of the world’s purest seeds, so you can eat them without worrying about consuming harmful pesticide residues!
7. Chia Seeds Support Healthy Bones
Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than most dairy products providing 18% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults in a single ounce!
As well as being high in several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.
Adding chia seeds to your diet ensures that you are maintaining bone as well as dental health, not to mention averting osteoporosis.
8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are considered one of the top sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with almost 5 grams in a one-ounce serving.
They are abundant in polyunsaturated fats which include omega-3s. They are the most abundant plant-based source of omega-3 which are essential fats that protect against inflammation such as heart disease and arthritis.
As a matter of fact, they have up to 8 times more omega-3 amounts than salmon.
9. Chia Seeds Are A Great Source Of Plant Protein
These tiny little seeds are about 14% protein, which is high compared to most plants!
A diet higher in protein has been shown to help reduce appetite, improve muscle repair, and even curb nighttime snacking by 50%!
10. They’re Good For Your Digestive System
The fiber in chia seeds also help to support your digestive system.
Feeding the bacteria in the intestine, which helps them to thrive and nourish your body with essential compounds for immunity and overall health.
11. They Help To Detoxify The Body
As the highest combined plant source of omega-3, fibre and protein, chia seeds are a great addition to your detoxification efforts.
They help support your body’s natural detoxification pathways, repair your cells and reduce inflammation.
12. They're A Natural Beauty Food!
The blend of nutrients in chia seeds such as healthy fats, protein and minerals including zinc help promote healthy skin, hair and nails.
13. Seed Up Your Drink
One of the easiest ways to incorporate chia seeds into your diet is simply by adding it into your drinking water. Chia seeds are very hydrophilic, and are able to absorb 12-14 times their weight in water.
When soaked in water, a gelatinous coating is formed, making it easy to swallow.
For those looking to satisfy their cravings for something sweet, the Mexicans have Chia Fresca – comprising of water, lemon or lime juice, sweetener and chia seeds. Chia Seeds can also be integrated into smoothie recipes.
14. Long shelf life
Chia seeds contain natural antioxidants which protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid, protecting the nutrients and giving the chia seeds a naturally long shelf life.
15 Enhances mood
Chia seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan which helps improve and regulate appetite, sleep and mood.
16. Enhance Heart Health & Fight diabetes
Chia seeds have been observed to enhance blood pressure levels among diabetics, and may also raise healthy cholesterol while decreasing total LDL, as well as triglyceride cholesterol.
Its gelatinous coating which develops when soaked in liquids, can also avert blood sugar spikes. Since chia seeds slow down how quickly our bodies break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies show they can regulate blood sugar.
For those who are borderline diabetic, or have a history of heart problems, you would do well to take pre-emptive measures by consuming heart healthy foods such as chia seeds.
17. Chia Seeds Are Suitable For A Low Carb Diet
If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, then chia seeds are your friend! The net carb content is only 1 gram per ounce, which is really low!
Plus, as chia seeds contain so much fiber, they can also help you stay full for longer - supporting any weight loss efforts, or simply curbing those hunger pangs.
18. Chia Seeds Are Abundant in Phosphorus
Since the seed has 27 percent of our daily recommended value for phosphorus, chia also aids in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
Phosphorus is likewise utilized by the body to break down protein for tissue and cell repair, and growth of new healthy cells.
19. Make dessert!
EChia puddings have gained prominence as one of the top ways of using chia seed in a recipe, with many flavour variations.
Look on the internet for loads of recipes.
20 Reduce Your Risk Of Colon Cancer
21. Chia Seeds Contain Manganese
Manganese is not too well-known as a nutrient, however it is vital for our health. Manganese is great for the bones and aids the body at using other key nutrients such as thiamine and biotin.
Just one serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams contains one third of our suggested intake of this key mineral.
22. Add them to your greens
Dry chia seeds have a nice crunch to them, though they have a tendency to get stuck between your teeth as well.
Add texture to salads by sprinkling chia seeds over them. Moreover, chia sprouts are also a good addition to the green mix as well.
23. Combat Ugly Belly Fat
Chia seeds’ steadying control of blood sugar also counteracts insulin resistance which is also usually linked to increase in ugly belly fat.
Chia seeds form a gel in your stomach, making you feel full longer which can reduce your calorie intake. ( This helps in slowing down digestion, particularly the processs of converting carbs to sugar.
Abdominal fat has been linked to compromising overall health, which is why foods with dozens of health benefits such as chia seeds, are quickly becoming more popular in the health and fitness industries.
A couple of tips for you-
Note: Chia seeds are quite easy to find in any most supermarkets. They are a bit smaller than a strawberry seed in appearance and have a very slight, nutty flavor.
(Buying tip: pick seeds which are naturally black or white in colour. Brown seeds are immature, providing less benefits belonging to its matured counterpart and having a bitter taste to them.)
If you wish to purchase Chia Seeds then you can buy them here.