You’d be surprised at just how many health benefits there are to these little tiny seeds!
These tiny but mighty seeds are known as a superfood, which means they are a lot more nutrient dense than many other foods.
This article is going to be discussing everything you need to know about chia seeds, such as their nutritional profile, and all the health benefits that are associated with gobbling them up.
What Are Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are little seeds that come from the salvia hispanica, a mint plant that flowers, and is native to Mexico and Guatemala.
While they have only become popular in the last decade, they were a staple food for the Aztecs and Mayans.
They are oval in shape, flat, shiny, and smooth in texture, and they are either white, brown, or black.
They are extremely versatile seeds, and have a very mild flavor, meaning they can be added to a variety of dishes without taking over their flavor.
Their ability to absorb liquid is rather impressive.
They are able to absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid, forming a gel-like consistency that can be added to puddings, and oatmeal, and used as an egg replacement in baking.
As mentioned above, these little seeds are known as a superfood, which means they’re very high in nutrients, more so than many other foods.
This article will now discuss the nutritional profile of these wonderful seeds.
Carbohydrates And Fiber
Over 80% of the carbohydrate content of these seeds consists of fiber.
One ounce of them, which amounts to around 28 grams, contains 11 grams of fiber, which is a good amount as it is recommended that both men and women consume 25 to 38 grams of fiber per day.
These seeds also contain 19% protein, which is more than most grains and cereals have to offer.
They also contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a very good plant-based protein.
A good protein intake leads to feeling full for longer after meals, so adding these seeds to your breakfast, for example, can really set you up for the day.
Chia seeds are known as one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 75% of the fats in them consist of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic, and 20% of them consist of omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help inflammation in the body and boast a number of other health benefits.
There are more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6 fatty acids in chia seeds, which means they can lower your risk of developing certain conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and other inflammatory diseases.
However, it is important to note that these fats are not as prominent in chia seeds as they are in fish and fish oils.
Vitamins And Minerals
While these seeds are relatively high in minerals, there aren’t as many vitamins found in them.
The minerals they contain are manganese, needed for development and growth, phosphorus, helpful in bone health and tissue maintenance, copper, which is very important for heart health, selenium, an antioxidant, iron, which manages your red blood cells, magnesium, and calcium.
Health Benefits Associated With Chia Seeds
As they are known as a superfood, chia seeds have become a very popular addition to people’s diets all over the world.
They are also associated with several health benefits, which will be listed below.
Blood Sugar Control
Healthy blood sugar levels are crucial for a healthy lifestyle. Studies performed on animals show that consuming chia seeds help improve blood sugar control and reduce insulin resistance.
Some other studies involving humans showed that bread made with chia seeds resulted in a reduced blood sugar response when compared with other bread.
Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is dangerous as it can contribute to issues such as heart disease. Chia seeds and chia seed flour has shown to reduce blood pressure in those who have high blood pressure already.
May Help With Weight Loss
As chia seeds are very high in protein, they leave you feeling full for longer after your meals, and foods that do this are known for helping when it comes to weight loss.
Several studies have shown that those who incorporated chia seeds into their breakfast, ended up snacking less throughout the day, leading to healthier eating habits and food choices.
However, the effectiveness of chia seeds and weight loss does have mixed results, as another study that saw people taking chia seed supplements, did not bear results that led to weight loss.
While adding chia seeds to your diet is unlikely to cause weight loss (see also: 15 Best Chia Seed Recipes For Weight Loss To Try Today)on its own, they are a good addition to a balanced, nutritious diet, which is beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.
Chia Seeds Are Easy To Incorporate Into Your Diet
Lastly, these seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. They don’t have much of a taste, which means they won’t clash with any of the ingredients you’ve used in your food.
They also don’t need to be cooked, they can be sprinkled on salads, in smoothies, or combined with water or milk to create a gel-like consistency that can be added to baked goods, or puddings.
They also tend to be tolerated well by most people, unless you aren’t used to consuming a lot of fiber. If this is the case, begin by adding smaller servings, before increasing your intake.
To conclude, chia seeds are a wonderful superfood that can be added to all kinds of recipes you can imagine.
They have a very bland taste, so they won’t interfere badly with anything on your plate!
They can be mixed together with water or milk to create a pasty consistency that can be added to puddings or baked goods, or they can be sprinkled on top of salads, in smoothies, or any other meals you fancy that day!
We hope this article has provided you with an insight into the world of chia seeds (see also “What Was The FDAs Ruling On Chia Seeds?“)!
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