Do you know what a chia seed is? If you have heard it before, you are probably familiar with Joseph Enterprises' Chia Pet.. Ch..Ch..Cha..Chia! Did you know you can eat chia seeds and they are fabulous for your health?
Clean Eat Education: Chia Seeds - Big Benefits from a Little Seed!
What are chia seeds?
- Chia is actually a flowering plant, grown commercially, which is in the mint family. (Imagine that!) It is native to Mexico and Guatamala.
What are the health benefits to consuming chia seeds? Chia seeds are wonderful for you! See below...
- Great source of Omega-3. Infact, chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3, which protects against inflammation and heart disease. Studies have found that chia seeds contain more Omega-3 than similar servings of salmon!
- Assist in controlling blood sugar. Important for diabetics and dieters, blood sugar regulation can be tricky. Since chia seeds slow the conversion of carbs into simple sugars, they help to regulate blood sugar levels in the body.
- Help promote weight loss. Chia seeds help promote weight loss by blocking the body's absorption of some (not all - we wish!) of the calories ingested when you eat.
- Keep you feeling fuller, longer. What weight loss pill or new diet craze hasn't cited feeling fuller longer as a benefit? Why spend extra money on pills that you have no idea what the content of them are when you can eat something natural and scientifically tested? Chia seeds absorb approximately 8-10x their weight in water, turning to a gelatinous texture. This takes your body a little longer to digest and keeps your metabolism in that fat burning zone.
- Helps stave off dehydration. As mentioned earlier, chia seeds can absorb 8-10x their weight in water. When the gelatinous gel is consumed, the body breaks down the chia seed gel and uses the water in the gel for important body functions.
- Increases Energy Levels. As a good source of plant protein, with just at 4g per one ounce serving, chia seeds help maintain proper metabolism levels through the breakdown of protein, leaving you less tired.
- High in Antioxidants. Looking for the next beauty remedy to keep your skin looking flawless. Keep eating your blueberries, but add in those chia seeds! Chia seeds are so high in antioxidants that no chemicals or preservatives are needed to maintain their freshness for 2 years at room temperature! Hello younger looking skin and a more youthful you! Talk about a power food!
- Lowers Blood Pressure. With the high fiber content (11g of it's 12g of carbs in just a one ounce serving) in chia seeds, adding a daily serving of chia seeds can help to reduce blood pressure.
- Helps Prevent Digestion Diseases such as Diverticulitis. Again, the fiber content in 1g of chia seeds is a huge benefit. As you digest the chia seeds, their movement and absorption throughout your body helps to keep your colon hydrated, thus helping to prevent certain digestion diseases.
How can I eat chia seeds?
- It doesn't matter how you prepare the chia seeds, you will reap their benefits. Chia seeds can be eaten raw and in their natural form, gelled with water or juice (just be careful of the sugar content), added to baked goods including breads, muffins, cereals, added to puddings, shakes, protein powders, or just sprinkled on your favorite salad or meal. They are relatively tasteless, although they may have a faint nutty taste.
What is a suggested serving?
- 1 to 1.5 oz daily
What is the nutritional content of 1.5g of Chia Seeds?
- 205.5 calories, 108 calories from fat
- 13.5g fat, 1.5g saturated fat
- 0g cholesterol
- 7.5mg sodium
- 18g carbohydrates, 16.5g fiber, 0 sugars
- 6g protein
- Vitamin A - 0%, Vitamin C - 0%, Calcium - 27% (Wow!), Iron - 0%
Where can I buy Chia Seeds?
You can buy chia seeds at most health food retailers. Additionally, if you plan to have them on a daily basis, you can take advantage of Amazon's auto-ship feature on chia seeds. Below are a few varieties and price points to choose from.
- The Raw Food World Natural Health, 5lb Bag
- Spectrum Chia Seed Omega-3 and Fiber, 12oz
- Now Foods White Chia Seeds, 1 lb
Go Forth and Go for the Chia!
- Chia Seeds - http://www.nutsonline.com/cookingbaking/chia-seeds/premium.html
- Top 10 Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds - http://www.mychiaseeds.com/Articles/Top10ChiaBenefits.html
- Salvia Hispanica, Chia Seeds - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica