Everyone is talking about chia seeds these days but do you know why exactly? Find out what makes chia seeds a super food and why they should be incorporated in your diet to get maximum health benefits.
What are Chia seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from Salvia hispanica plant, mainly grown in Central and South America. This super food gained its popularity for all the right reasons. Chia means strength in the Mayan language and in ancient times these seeds were used by warriors and runners as a source of energy.
What are the health benefits of chia seeds?
Chia seeds are super food, loaded with nutrients such as fiber, omega 3, digestible carbohydrates, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, mangnese, zinc, vitamin B1 and B2, B3 and potassium. Consumption of these seeds has tremendous health benefits, so why make them a daily part of our diet?
Chia seeds are high in fiber, 11 grams of fiber per ounce (28 grams). The recommended amount of fiber is 30 grams, so including one serving of chia seeds in your diet can help cover one third of your daily requirement of fiber.
Chia seeds absorb a considerable amount of water which helps them expand. Due to this reason they expand immediately in the stomach making you feel fuller quickly.
Ageing and Skin
Chia seeds are high in anti-oxidants that help speeding up the skin repair and prevent further damage. Its consumption can prevent premature aging of skin due to inflammation.
Chia seeds are high in healthy fats and have more Omega-3 than found in salmon. Omega-3 protects the heart by lowering blood pressure, reversing inflammation, and regulating cholesterol.
Weight Loss and Muscle building
Chia seeds are very high in protein and amino acids, thus form a great source of plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans. They can be consumed if you want to build lean muscle regulate blood sugar levels and burn fat. Here is a study conducted on the relationship between chia seeds and major weight loss goals.
High amount of zinc present in chia seeds increase leptin in your bobdy which is a hormone that helps regulating appetite and improving your stamina.
How can chia seeds be consumed?
Chia seeds can be eaten raw, soaked, cooked or even grounded. When soaked, they can be used as a thickening agent for soups or stews. One of the popular ways of consuming chia seeds is by soaking them in water or milk for at least half an hour or overnight in the fridge. The seeds absorb the liquid and form a gel type consistency and is known as chia pudding. To add more flavor to it, you can always experiment with different kinds of milk, yogurt, fruits, nut butter, honey, cinnamon, nuts etc. Just be creative and see what you like the best.
Grounded form of chia seeds can be used as egg substitute in your baked goods. To replace one egg, soak 1 tbsp of grounded chia seeds in 3 tbsp of water. Dry roasted can be used in salads to add texture or as a topping for your breakfast cereal.
What are the side effects of chia seeds?
There are no major side effects of consuming chia seeds. However, consuming them in large amount might lead to constipation. Therefore, make sure to have only recommended amount, which is 15-20 grams (2-3 tablespoons) per day, and drink plenty of water.
All in all chia seeds are a nutrient dense food and so versatile that they should be included in your daily diet in some form. Not to forget the amazing health benefits these tiny seeds contain. It helps with weight loss, skin, anti-ageing, healthy heart, diabetes, fighting cancer, boosts energy and metabolism, stronger bones and dental health.