You may have seen them sprinkled on porridge, blended into smoothies or speckled into raw organic treats or desserts.
Although they might appear a little odd when compared to other regular whole foods, chia seeds are actually a powerhouse of nutrition and packed so full of amazing health benefits, that they're worth writing about!
As well as being a delicious addition to a range of wholesome meals, this ancient super food is best known for its powers in curbing hunger, balancing blood sugar, supporting weight loss, reducing inflammation in the body and even anti-ageing.
Here, we reveal why chia seeds are revered ancient "super food" that you should definitely consider and embrace as part of your everyday self care routine.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Coming from the Salvia Hispanica plant native to Mexico and Central America, Chia Seeds are harvested in both black and white varieties.
Traditionally, this relative of the mint plant was prized as a staple whole grain food source by both the Maya and Aztecs due to its robust nutrient density, versatility, and sustainable energy providing powers.
Additionally, chia seeds deliver a wealth of vital 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 be a fantastic addition to your overall health and wellness routine. Here are the 5 amazing benefits of Chia Seeds:
1. Full Of Antioxidants
Jam-packed with free radical-fighting antioxidants, chia seeds can help protect cell molecules from oxidative damage, as well as assisting in the repair of old cells and to promote regeneration.
Not only can this delay the effects of ageing, but also to bolster immunity and even to help prevent various cancers.
2. High In Fibre
More than 80% of the carbohydrate content of chia seeds is in the form of fibre, making chia one of the more fibre-rich foods on earth.
This gives chia seeds the ability to absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water.
The fibre in chia is mainly "soluble" fibre and mucilage - that is, the substance responsible for the gluey texture of moistened or soaked chia seeds.
A single ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds boasts 11 grams of fibre, which is a significant portion of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for women and men.
The rich fibres in chia seeds as part of a healthy diet can help to:
- Make bowel movements more regular
- Support general 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 who suffer from blood sugar spikes and type-2 diabetes.
Learn more in our blog 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, which represents approximately 14% of the nutritional content of chia.
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 animal products, which are considered "second source" protein.
Learn more in our blog 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 - and without the potential toxic residues that are being more exposed when it comes to "farmed salmon".
Omega-3 is a “good” type of fat that offers powerful health benefits to your brain and body. Boosting your consumption can be beneficial for supporting many vital bodily functions and for improving the appearance of hair, skin, teeth and nails.
Learn more in our blog Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Good For Inflammation, Brain & Heart Health
5. Good For Bones
Thanks to their high mineral calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium content, chia seeds are an excellent food for supporting strong bone health.
These essential minerals play a key role in the growth, repair and functioning of bones and in a plant-based form, are considered more easily assimilated by the body.
Learn more in our blog Understanding Calcium & Bone Health
How To Enjoy Chia Seeds
Thanks to their size, taste and versatility, chia seeds are easy and convenient to work into your diet.
In their own right, chia seeds don't have much flavour, however they're an ideal accompaniment or ingredient in many healthy homemade foods and wholesome raw treats.
Chia seeds are best soaked overnight in raw nut milk to form healthy breakfast chia pods and also for raw desserts.
Other popular ways people consume chia seeds:
- Adding to raw homemade smoothies
- Adding to homemade salad dressings prepared with ingredients such as olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon juice
- Baked with raw oats in the oven to create homemade muesli or granola
Because of their rich fibre content, chia is known for its digestive powers. That's why it is a key ingredients of our raw fibre, daily booster product called, Get Things Moving.
The Main Takeaway
Whilst they're not a regular seed on most people's shopping lists, chia seeds have been embraced for centuries for their nutritional and health promoting qualities.
Packed with dietary fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, consider including chia seeds into your regular dietary routine, by experimenting with some of the simple suggestions provided.
You'll probably soon wonder why you didn't give this nutritious, affordable, versatile and readily-available, natural whole food the attention it deserves.
Tolman Self Care.