Chia seeds – What are they?
Chia seeds are all the rage lately, people are going crazy about this amazing seed and it’s no wonder if we take into account its amazing benefits. But let’s see first what chia seeds are. They’re small edible seeds from the desert plant salvia hispanica and can be white, black or dark brown in color. They have a slightly nutty flavour and can be an excellent meal for breakfast. Chia seeds are a great source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids, digestible protein and can be added to almost every dish.
Chia seeds are abundant in calcium and phosphorus and have a low sodium and cholesterol content. They are also rich in fibers, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants all of which have an amazing effect on your overall health. Chia seeds are also abundant in vitamins C, B, E and D and minerals like magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
- Strong bones – As we already mentioned chia seeds are rich in calcium as well as in other essential minerals, all of which strengthen your bones, nails and hair.
- Anti-cancer – Chia seeds posses potent antioxidant abilities which fight the free radicals in your body – the main culprits for cellular damage and the onset of cancer.
- Brain health – The high content of omega 3 fatty acids in chia seeds is responsible for them being excellent food for the brain. They help in reducing brain inflammation, prevent brain fog and deterioration, and increase brain performance.
- Diabetes – If you have a problem with keeping your sugar levels under control consider including chia seeds into your diet. They’re an excellent source of fibers which help prevent sugar spikes and protect you from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- Cellular health – Chia seeds are low in saturated and mono-unsaturated fats while rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This is beneficial for good cellular health and has a plethora of other health benefits.
- Fiber – You can find 30grams of fiber in a serving of chia seeds which is about a third of the daily recommended intake. This is one of the main reasons why people have started consuming them more often and why you should start as well. They will significantly improve your digestive health.
- Inflammation – Chia seeds can fight inflammation and are recommended to people suffering from psoriasis, arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even to tuberculosis patients.
- Cardiovascular health – These amazing small seeds can significantly lower the risk of a heart attack or fatal cardiac arrhythmia owing to their high content of healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6 which our bodies cannot synthetize naturally. They also cleanse your arteries from plaque build-up and reduce the bad cholesterol.
- Weight loss – Thanks to the abundance of fibers chia seeds can absorb some 10-12 times their weight in water. After soaking they become gelatinous, expanding in your stomach and making you feel full and satiated. They also help you eat less and eliminate the food cravings.
How to consume Chia seeds?
The recommended daily intake of chia seeds is 3-4tbsp. You can start with a tablespoon or two for starters until you get used to their high fiber content and gradually increase the dose. You can eat them raw, soaked in some water or juice, add them to your baked goods, smoothies, yogurt, shakes or salad. The choice is up to you, whatever you decide you can’t go wrong with chia seeds.
They are excellent water and fat absorbers, so if you soak them don’t be surprise if they increase up to 30 times in size. It’s even recommended that you soak them before you use them for some 15 minutes. You can eat them dry as well but in that case they will absorb all the moisture in your intestines and may eventually lead to dehydration or constipation.