5 Amazing Benefits Of Chia Seeds
You may have seen them sprinkled on porridge, blended into smoothies or speckled into jelly-like puddings.
Although they might appear odd, chia seeds are actually a powerhouse of nutrition and packed full of amazing health benefits.
As well as being a delicious addition to a range of whole food meals, this ancient “superfood” can help with everything from anti-ageing, to balancing blood sugar levels, curbing hunger, boosting weight loss and helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Coming from the Salvia Hispanica plant, native to Mexico and Central America, chia seeds come in both black and white varieties.
Traditionally this relative of mint was prized as a staple whole grain food source by both the Maya and the Aztecs as a result of its high nutrient density, versatility and sustainable energy it provides to the body.
Additionally, chia offers a wealth of vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamins B1, B2 & B3
Thanks to these as well as its numerous other qualities, chia seeds are a beneficial dietary addition which can contribute to physical health and wellness…
1. Full Of Antioxidants
Laden with free radical-fighting antioxidants, chia seeds can help protect cell molecules from oxidative damage as well as assist with repair and promote regeneration. Not only can this delay the effects of ageing but also bolster immunity and help to prevent cancer.
2. High In Fibre
With a fibre content of 40%, chia seeds are one of the most fibre-rich whole foods in existence! This gives them the ability to absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water.
A high fibre diet can help to:
- Make bowel movements more regular
- Support gut health
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Achieve a healthy weight
Additionally, this high-fibre content is believed to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood, helping to prevent peaks and troughs which is beneficial for those suffering from high blood sugar levels or type 2 diabetes.
Learn more in 8 Tips For Healthy Blood Sugar Balance
In addition to their high fibre content, chia seeds are also a great source of plant-based protein of which they’re made up of approximately 14%.
This “first source” protein is characterised by a variety of essential amino acids that can be much more readily absorbed and assimilated by the human body when compared to protein originating from meat and dairy.
Learn more in The Truth About Protein & Muscular System Foods
4. High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It might be hard to believe but gram for gram, chia seeds actually contain more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon!
This “good” type of fat offers powerful health benefits to your brain and body and increasing your consumption can be beneficial for:
- Eye Health
- Preventing Heart Disease
- Autoimmune Disease
- Arthritis & Joint Pain
5. Good For Bones
Thanks to their high calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium content, chia seeds are an excellent food for supporting bone health. These essential minerals play a key role in the optimal growth, repair and functioning of bones and in a plant-based form are more easily assimilated and used by the body.
Learn more in Understanding Calcium & Bone Health
How To Eat Chia Seeds
Thanks to their size, taste and versatility, chia seeds are easy and convenient to work into your diet.
Lacking a strong flavour, you can more or less add them to any other foods that you like.
They’re best eaten raw or you can soak them over night in nut milks to soften.
2 teaspoons a couple of times per day will supply maximum benefits.
These are some of the most popular ways people consume chia seeds:
- Mixed into breakfast cereals
- Blended into juices or smoothies
- Soak overnight and make into puddings with fruit
- Sprinkled on top of savoury rice, quinoa or other hot whole grain dishes.
Because of their rich fibre content, we also include Chia seeds as a key ingredient in our every day fibre booster, which we call Get Things Moving.
Whether it's savoury or sweet, be sure to include plenty of Chia into your diet on a daily basis whenever you can. You'll be glad you did.
Tolman Self Care.