Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have become popular for their health benefits. They have a great nutrient composition and are easy to incorporate into your eating plan. I definitely recommend then at my clinic. Here are a few nutrition facts about chia seeds.
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to the mint.This plant grows natively in South America.Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day.
They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”
Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern day superfood.
In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world.
The nutrient composition of chia seeds is really great! 28g of Chia seeds provides 11g fibre, 4g protein and 9g fat (mainly omega 3). It also contains good amounts of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. This makes them one of the world’s best sources of several important nutrients, calorie for calorie.
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants that help to protect the delicate fats in the seeds.
Fibre plays an important role in your diet especially for good gut health and maintaining healthy bacteria in your gut. 11g of chia are fiber, which isn’t digested by the body. Fibre helps keep glucose stable as is not digested thus they do not need to be counted as carbs. Chia seeds thus work well on carb controlled eating plans.
Bottom Line: Almost all of the carbohydrates in chia seeds are fiber. This gives them the ability to absorb 10-12 times their weight in water.
Chia seeds contain a decent amount of protein. Considering that it is a plant source they have a good protein content. They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids, so our bodies should be able to make use of the protein in them.
Protein has many benefits for health. It has a great effect on promoting satiety and thus fewer cravings. This is great for weight loss and keeping glucose controlled.
Chia seeds really are an excellent protein source, especially for people who eat little or no animal products.
Bottom Line: Chia seeds are high in quality protein, much higher than most plant foods. Protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can drastically reduce appetite and cravings.
Easy ways to add chia seeds to your diet:
• Add a sprinkle to your yoghurt or breakfast cereal
• Add some to your protein or fruit smoothie/ shake
• Sprinkle some into a salad
• Add some to your soup – it will help thicken it a little
• Add some to your milk (chia absorbs liquid so you will have something like a tapioca pudding if you leave it overnight)
• Add them into your muffin mix
For all the nutritional value they offer I think chia seeds are great to include in your diet. They are simple and easy to use, have a neutral taste and are packed with nutrients! At Easy Health Wellness I am always looking for simple and practical ways to promote healthy living – chia seeds are definitely on my list!