Chia seeds are tiny but extremely nutritious. They improve digestive health, blood levels of heart-healthy omega-3s, and lower risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
It is amazing the amount of nutrition the tiny seeds possess. They have more antioxidants than the same serving of blueberries, more omega 3 than walnuts, and more calcium than milk!!
Chia seeds give you tons of energy but also won’t keep you awake at night and are shown to be great for weight loss. Because they can absorb many times their size/weight in liquid, they are great for avoiding dehydration during exercise or exposure to heat.
Not only that, but recent research has found that the chia seeds’ benefits are even greater than scientists initially realized. Chia seed’s benefits include promoting healthy skin, reducing signs of aging, supports a healthy heart and digestive system, building stronger bones, and more.
Thanks to their small size, mild taste, and versatility, it’s easy to incorporate chia seeds into your diet.
Chia Nutritional Benefits
The best news ever is of course the form of carbohydrates that chia have. In fact, 80% of the carbohydrates sourced from chia is fiber and that fiber is indigestible or insoluble – which is 95% of it – so it does not raise blood sugar level, thus reducing the rate of diabetes. Also, it helps keep you fuller longer and bulks up a stool to prevent constipation because of the insoluble fiber that chia has. They also deliver healthy fats, protein, and cell-protecting antioxidants.
In addition to that, chia seed is the richest source of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. The Alpha Linoleic Acid found in chia seeds is the highest form of omega-3 found in any plant source. The perfect balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that helps in progressive digestion of other forms of fat and not allowing them to bind into the system is perfect in chia seeds. The Omega-3 fatty acids in chia may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and improve cholesterol levels.
Also, Chia seeds are a good source of minerals, such as:
Chia seeds are often recommended for those who are trying to lose weight. Adding chia seeds to your diet is an excellent way to enhance weight loss and help shed stubborn pounds. Additionally, as a good source of both protein and antioxidants, they may nutritionally support the body in other ways that promote weight loss. Due to their hydrophilic properties, chia seeds also promote hydration, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight.
Chia seeds are often used by athletes for carb-loading, a strategy that helps maximize the storage of glycogen in the muscles and liver to optimize endurance and boost exercise performance. It energizes the body and can be a perfect replacement for a sports drink, without the added sugars. Plus, the protein in chia seeds can help build muscle mass and increase strength to help fuel your workouts.
Because chia seeds are rich in calcium, which strengthens the teeth and the jaw and fights gum inflammation. Also packed with zinc, that prevents tartar by keeping plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away. Meanwhile, phosphorus and vitamin A are also important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth, both of which are plentiful in chia seeds. It’s no wonder that promoting oral health makes the list a top benefit of chia seeds.
One of the biggest chia seed health benefits is the ability to strengthen bone health and preserve bone density while reducing the risk of serious conditions like osteoporosis. This includes calcium and manganese which is calcium serves an important role in maintaining bone strength and density while manganese is also involved in bone metabolism, with studies showing that a deficiency in this key nutrient can impair bone resorption and decrease bone formation.
Now that you know the amazing benefits of chia seeds, let’s explore some of the ways to incorporate them into your diet on a daily basis.
- Chia Fresca
1 cup of water
1 fresh lemon (squeezed) or lemon juice
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
healthy sweetener to taste
Mix well the lemonade and the stevia, add chia seeds and stir nicely.
Then allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes. Chia seeds will absorb the water and become jelly-like.
- Chia Almond Pudding
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons white almond butter
1 cup coconut water
1 pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon mesquite powder
1 organic date, pitted
-Blend the almond butter and coconut water in a blender until it mixes well.
-Add the date, vanilla, powder, and cinnamon to the blender and blend until mixed in.
-Pour the mixture over the chia seed in a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes then serve topped with fresh organic fruit.
- Chia Cereal
To try something a little different for breakfast, you could swap your usual cereal for chia cereal.
To make it, soak the seeds overnight in milk (or a milk substitute like almond milk) and top with nuts, fruit, or spices like cinnamon. You can also use mashed banana and vanilla extract to make a delicious morning treat.
Add chia seeds to your bowl of oatmeal for some protein. When making your own oatmeal, follow instructions on the package, but add one to two tablespoons of chia seeds to the recipe.
All of these are great ways to add chia to your diet every day, but don’t stop here — the internet is full of great recipes! From breakfast bars to chocolate mousse to pancakes, you’ll find plenty of recipes to make sure you never run out. Of course, chia seeds should not be a replacement for all the other healthy nutrients you should incorporate into your diet. A healthy diet consists of meals containing macronutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Chia simply makes a beautiful addition to the foods you already love.
- Chia Energy Bars
1/2 cup organic shredded coconut
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed powder
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons raw dark chocolate chips, chunks, or shavings
1 pinch sea salt
-Mix all ingredients except chocolate together.
-Press the mixture into a lined baking pan.
-Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over the stove, being careful not to burn.
-Pour the chocolate over the mixture and spread evenly.
-Freeze for 1 hour before serving.
- Homemade Jam
Chia seeds and jam may seem like an odd combination, but the seeds serve as a natural gel thickener. Chia seed jam is thinner than traditional jam, but easy to spread on toast and muffins, or drizzle over yogurt, hot cereal, and ice cream.
To make a simple chia seed jam, add 2 tablespoons chia seeds to about 2 cups of mashed fresh fruit. Add sweetener like honey or agave as desired, and let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes. As the mixture sits, it will take on a jam-like consistency.
For a thicker jam, cook the mashed fruit and sweetener over low to medium heat for about five minutes before adding the chia seeds. This strawberry chia jam recipe contains only strawberries, chia seeds, water, and natural sweetener.
- Chia Berry Smoothie
8 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
4 tablespoons organic blackberry or other fruit puree
-Soak the chia seeds in the water for 20 minutes in a blender.
-Add remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend until smooth then serve chilled.
All of these are great ways to add chia to your diet every day, but don’t stop here — the internet is full of great recipes!
Chia seeds are not only rich in nutrients, omega-3 fat, antioxidants, and fiber but also easy to prepare. They can be added to numerous foods and recipes for a boost of protein, antioxidants, and fiber. Also, studies suggest that they have various health benefits, ranging from weight loss to reduced inflammation.
If you’re interested in including these seeds in your diet, try out one of the various options above.