The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

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Chia seeds aka Salvia Hispanica are one of the most popular superfoods today. I first came across these tiny
little black and white and nutty tasting seeds during my quest for some delicious toppings for my smoothie bowls.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

 

These seeds seem to be making headlines everywhere, and I’m not the one to miss out on things, so I purchased some to try out, and I’ve not looked back ever since. Chia seeds have now become a part of my diet, and I like to sprinkle them on almost any food that goes into my mouth.  Their mild nutty flavor makes it easy to incorporate them into a broad array of other foods.

But even though these tiny but nutrient-packed seeds taste so good with everything, I still didn’t know what they were good for; so I decided to do some proper research and found three amazing scientifically-backed facts about the health benefits of chia seeds.

The Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are the A-listers of superfoods. They are packed with loads of essential nutrients.  According to research, chia seeds are an excellent source of natural antioxidants (antioxidants neutralize free radicals), protein, and are among the richest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (α-Linolenic acid).  These seeds are also a rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. And if that’s not enough they are also an excellent source of phosphorous, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B3.

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Chia seeds are good for your heart and can even protect you from developing diabetes. Another study shows just how chia seeds help slow down the release of glucose in foods. The slow release of glucose in foods lowers the risks of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Weight Loss

Let’s face it, as busy mums finding some time for a quick workout can be hard sometimes (to be honest in my case most of the times). WHICH IS WHY I’m always on the lookout for ways to eat healthily to maintain a healthy BMI. Chia seeds make you feel satiated because they quickly increase to multiple times their size in liquid and form a gelatinous-like substance; which means you’ll be less likely to fill up on empty calories.

How To Use Chia Seeds

To reap the full health benefits of chia seeds,  it’s essential that you prepare them properly. For best results, soak the seeds in water for about 20 minutes before consumption. You can, however, sprinkle some on your food for some crunch without soaking them.

When chia seeds are left to soak in water or other kinds liquid for a prolonged period (overnight), they expand and release a thick coating. Try experimenting to see how much they expand with the following simple pudding recipe:

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Fruits or berries of your choice

Mix the chia seeds with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk. Leave the mixture to stand in the fridge overnight to allow the seeds to expand and form a gelatinous coating. Top with some fresh sweet fruits or berries the next morning and enjoy a healthy chia almond milk pudding.

You can use chia seeds in your baking, e.g., as a poppy seed substitute in a lemon-and-poppy seed muffin recipe. You can also use them as a nutritious crunchy topping on your smoothie bowls, oatmeal, salad or yogurt.

 

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