The addition of chia seeds to your daily diet offers countless health benefits, as these seeds are packed with nutrients, low in calories, and improve overall health in numerous ways.
Here are some of their health benefits:
1. Chia seeds strengthen health in various ways, as they are abundant in nutrients. Namely, a small one- ounce serving provides:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fats (5 grams of that are omega-3s)
- 18% of daily recommended calcium
- 30% of daily recommended manganese
- 30% of daily recommended magnesium
- 27% of daily recommended phosphorus
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
2. Since they are rich in protein and soluble fiber, chia seeds help weight loss, reduce appetite, and create a feeling of fullness.
3. Being high in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds lower the risk of heart disease, by lowering triglyceride levels, blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance and inflammation, as well as the dangerous belly fat.
4. Chia seeds regulate blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity and thus lower the risk of obesity, stroke, asthma, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and stroke.
5. Chia seeds reduce the number of inflammatory markers in the body by 40% and treat chronic inflammation in the body, which can be the underlying cause of various diseases.
6. These seeds are rich in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and prevent cancer and premature aging.
7. Chia seeds are low in calories, and one ounce has only 137 calories, and a gram of carbohydrates.
8. They are easy to add to your regular diet, as they go well with veggies, rice, cereals, Greek yogurt, or you can add them to your smoothies, juices, and baked goods.
9. Chia seeds can replace eggs in your vegan recipes. You just need to add a tablespoon of these seeds to 3 tablespoons of water, leave them to soak for 5 minutes, and then add them to the recipe.
10. Diverticulosis is a condition that occurs when one has difficulties to pass bowel movements due to flare-ups in the colon. Yet, since these seeds absorb excess water in the colon, and fight inflammation, they can be used to treat it.
11. When soaked in water, chia seeds create a gel that relieves constipation and helps the passing of bowel movements.
12. Chia seeds contain many of the needed nutrients for optimal hair health, like magnesium, zinc, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, so they boost hair growth and make the hair healthy and shiny.
13. Chia seeds are rich in calcium, so they improve oral health, and soothe gum irritations, zinc in them treats bad breath.
14. Chia seeds boost energy levels in a natural way, and unlike sports drinks, they are not loaded with added sugar.
15. Chia seeds boost the power of the brain, by improving focus, energy, discipline, motivation, ambition, and intelligence.
The recommended dose of chia seeds is about 40 grams daily, divided into two portions of about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
Chia seeds have a neutral taste compared to the bolder flavors of pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds, so they are often soaked in water and placed in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
These seeds easily absorb the liquid to form a gel, which is similar to tapioca in texture, and is commonly known as a ‘chia pudding’. For an added flavor, you can soak the seeds in flavored milk, fruit juice, or add spices like cinnamon, ginger or a little honey.
Whole, soaked chia seeds can be used as a thickening agent for soups and stews as well. You can purchase ground seeds or make your own in a coffee grinder, and use them as a replacement for flour in baking breads or cakes.
Dry-roasting and toasting chia seeds emphasize and develop the flavor and texture since the toasted ones add crunch to salads or on top of breakfast cereals.
The oven or hob needs to be set at a low temperature, so just toss the chia seeds in a baking tray or a pan, and be careful not to burn them, since it will degrade the oils and alter the flavor.
You can add these seeds to your salads, oatmeal, soups, breads, sauces, smoothies, and desserts, and reap their countless benefits!