Something that we’ve all been adding into our daily food and beauty regime lately is chia seeds – an ancient superfood that has solidified its place in the health community. Find out why these little guys really earn their name of a superfood…
What are they?
Chia is a plant of the mint family and native to South America, namely Mexico and Guatemala. The seeds acquired from the plant are known as chia seeds.
Many studies suggest chia seeds used to be the fuel for ancient warriors of civilizations such as the Aztecs and Mayans. Their almost complete nutritional content made them popular sources of energy for when food was needed on the go.
What’s so great about them?
Aids Weight Loss
When a chia seed comes into contact with water, it forms a glutinous outer layer. When you injest the seeds before a meal, the seeds form a layer in your stomach making you feel fuller faster. Their combination of insoluble fiber and soluble fiber also mean you feel fuller longer requiring less snacking throughout the day along with aiding the digestion process.
Balance Blood Sugar
As mentioned above, the insoluble fiber allow for a slower breaking down of carbohydrates and therefore, a slower release of energy throughout the day meaning your blood sugars won’t spike.
Omega 3 – Chia seed has 8 times more omega 3 than salmon. Chia doesn’t contain cholesterol and toxic heavy metal components as fish.
Protein - Its a complete protein (of 23%, at that) meaning you are getting all 8 of the human body’s essential amino acids.
Calcium – Chia seeds also contain more calcium than whole milk.
Iron – Comparing iron content of chia seed with other traditional iron-rich sources products, chia seed has more iron than spinach, beef liver and lentils.
Antioxidants and vitamins and minerals – Chia contains high portion of antioxidants, and that makes it a very stable source of omega 3. Chia seed is also a good source of B vitamins. They also have more Vitamin C than oranges.
Fibre – Comparing the fibre content of chia, it has more fibre than barley, corn, wheat, oats and rice.
Chia seeds pack a powerful nutrional punch. Alpha linolenic acid, better known as ALA, is a valuable Omega 3 found in chia seeds as well. About 20 percent of the ALA we take in is converted to EPA, while between one and nine percent are converted to DHA in a healthy young adult. Older adults may not convert any of it to DHA, which further increases the desirability of supplementing with real fish oil. Read more about the different Omega-3s here.
Better Hair, Skin and Nails
The oil content in the chia seed are great for enhancing the appearance and overall health of your skin, hair and nails.
How do you eat it?
It is recommended to have at least one teaspoon to one tablespoon of chia seeds per day for maximum benefit which means its so easy to incorporate into your diet!
- Soak a tablespoon of chia seeds in water for 10 minutes then stir into your morning smoothie or juice
- Soak then add into a glass of ice cold water
- Sprinkle over salad and fruit salads
- Bake into a fresh loaf of gluten free bread or muffins
- Make chia pudding
Basically, you can add these little babies to any meal you have otherwise. They’re flavourless and you will barely notice they’re there.
Give them a go for a couple of weeks and let me know if you experience any improvement in your health!
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With love and care