Chia seeds might be tiny but they certainly pack a powerful punch. These magic seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet and are jam packed with nutrients that benefit your body and your brain.
So here’s the deal…
The chia seed is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica. It’s a member of the mint plant and it grows abundantly in Southern Mexico. For centuries the tiny seeds were used as a staple food by Native Indians of South West as well as the Mayans and Aztecs.
In fact, Chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength.
And another thing, Chia seeds provide a huge amount of nutrients with very few calories.
Just one ounce (28g) serving (roughly 2 tablespoons) contains:
- 11 grams fibre
- 9 grams of fat (5 of which are Omega-3’s)
- 4 grams protein
- 30% RDA Magnesium
- 30% RDA Manganese
- 27% RDA Phosphorus
- 18% RDA Calcium
- They also contain good amounts of Vitamin B3, Potassium, Vitamin B1, zinc and Vitamin B2.
Here are just 5 reasons (and there are many more) why you should start to include chia seeds on to your diet.
1.Chia seeds are loaded with Antioxidants.
The best way to fuel your body with antioxidants is to get them straight from a food rather than supplements. Antioxidants fight against free radicals, these free radicals damage molecules in cells and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer.
2.Chia seeds can help you with weight loss.
Many health experts believe that chia seeds can help with weight loss. Because they contain so much fibre, all the fibre absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach. This can increase fullness and slow down the absorption of food. As they are very high in protein they help to reduce your appetite, food intake and cravings. They also digest slowly which in turn will make you feel fuller for longer.
What’s more, chia seeds will help you to eat less but also increase your activity level. Research shows that these mighty seeds when eaten regularly can increase your metabolism and help you burn fat faster. It’s a win win.
3. Chia seeds can seriously help diabetes:
This is how… taking chia seeds can help your body regulate carbohydrates and the sugars they turn into. When ingested, they form a type of barrier inside the stomach. This barrier helps to slow down ingestion of sugar into your bloodstream. Naturally if you have diabetes this can help regulate your sugar levels.
4. Chia seeds will increases your energy levels
A recent study concluded that consuming chia seeds enhanced exercise performance during workouts that lasted 90 minutes, the same way a sports drink would. Of course the sports drink is full of sugar (and usually chemicals).
What’s more...in the book Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall, he talks about the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico and their incredible ability to run long distances of more than 100 miles on nothing more than chia seeds in water, as fuel.
5. Chia seeds are easy to digest.
So remember how I mentioned that chia seeds were high in fibre and that meant they can absorb a lot of water… well because of this, chia seeds can prolong hydration and improve your nutrient absorption of electrolytes.
Also when you consume chia seeds they create a gelatin-like substance in your stomach. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fibre in them and it can work as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in your gut.
Here’s another thing, studies have shown that ground chia seeds provide the most digestible protein content. Soaked and raw chia seeds are easily digested too but ground is the best way.
One more thing… It’s important.
Chia seeds are rich in a type of phytoestrogens called lignans. This means that people that have hormonal imbalances may want to limit their intake of chia seeds. If you have any concerns about your chia seed intake, please consult your natural health provider.
having said that, there’s no clinical evidence that healthy people are at risk of developing hormonal imbalances from consuming chia seeds in normal amounts.
Here’s how you start… one of the easiest ways to start including chia seeds into your diet is to add them into a smoothie and there are a couple of ways to go about this.
Either you can soak the seeds for about 10-15 minutes right before you blend them. The soaked seeds becomes very gelatinous and blend up well in a high speed blender.
Another way is for you to put them in a coffee grinder and make powder. You could even grind enough up for the whole week. If you decide to use them this way just make sure to add a little water to your blender and make sure to drink your smoothie right away. If you let your smoothie sit then the fiber in the chia seeds might absorb the water in your smoothie turning it into a gelatinous blob.
Why not try now by adding Chia Seed to this delicious green smoothie:
Green Goddess smoothie:
- 1/2 cup of water.
- ½ cup almond milk
- Juice of ½ lime.
- 2 tbs of mint
- 2 cups of fresh chopped pineapple
- 1 banana frozen or fresh
- 1 cup of spinach or kale
I’ll leave you with this little tip - blend the greens and the liquid together first until all the greens are well blended. Then add the fruit.