Everything You Need to Know about Chia Seeds
For such a tiny seed, chia packs a surprisingly amount of nutrition. Find out what this superfood is all about, and why it deserves a spot in your healthy eating lifestyle.
What are Chia Seeds?
It’s a seed harvested from the “Salvia Hispanica”plant, a member of the mint family. During the days of the Aztec empire, it was a mega-energy food for running messengers. Today it’s a hugely popular superfood due to its high quality nutritional profile.
Why do we eat Chia Seeds?
Chia is rich in Omega-3, which fights inflammation, lowers blood pressure naturally & improves cardiovascular health.
With 37% dietary fibre, chia helps with constipation and foods your gut bacteria for better digestive & metabolic health.
Chia provides a sustained release of energy, avoiding sugar spikes & crashes. Many athletes eat chia seeds to improve their endurance.
Chia thickens and bulks up food since it absorbs liquid up to 10x its weight. This gives you a fuller feeling, leaving you satisfied for longer periods.
Chia has a protein content of 20% which can help build lean muscles, and improve skin, nails and hair – great for those who are vegetarians!
No more afternoon drowsiness
Blood sugar spikes and subsequently, sugar crash, is what causes afternoon sleepiness. Because chia is high in fibre, it helps prevent this drowsiness by maintaining blood sugar levels.
Joint Pain Relief
Consumed over a period of time, chia could help reduce joint pain and swelling due to its high content of Omega-3. Chia is also rich in antioxidants, which can help ease joint inflammation.
Better, Softer Skin
Rich in protein, Omega-3 & antioxidants, these nutrients in chia work together to help slow down aging & keep skin hydrated. This results in softer and more supple skin.
Chia forms a gel-like texture when it absorbes liquid, keeping you full for a longer time. This means you’re likely to eat less calories, and will have less of a urge to snack (and maybe lose some weight too!)
How healthy is Chia?
2 tablespoons is equivalent to….
OMEGA-3 of ½ cup walnuts or 5tbsp canola oil
FIBRE of 2.5 cups oatmeal
IRON of 2.3 cups spinach
CALCIUM of ½ cup milk
ANTIOXIDANTS of ½ cup blueberries
Not to mention other nutrients, including…
12% of daily Protein to build lean muscles & for better skin, hair & nails.
20% of daily Magnesium for healthier bones, control blood sugar & boost energy.
28% of daily Selenium to support thyroid function & for antioxidant protection.
What's not in Chia?
Good news, Chia is gluten free and sugar free!
How to eat Chia?
Chia has not much flavour to it. When soaked in liquid, chia absorbs the liquid & becomes plump, soft & gel-like.
- Add 1 tablespoon to liquid beverage. Stir and let it sit for about 15mins for it to gel up. Drink it up. Optional: Add lemon or lime juice to taste.
- Sprinkle into your cereal.
- Use in your baking recipes.
Frequently asked questions
Q. How much chia seeds can I consume per day?
A. As a general guide: For adults - 2 tablespoon a day, and for children under 10, not more then 1 tablespoon a day.
Q. I understand I should drink plenty of liquids when eating chia seeds. Why?
A. Since chia absorbs a lot of liquid, it can lead to stomach cramps. Hence the need to consume sufficient liquid when consuming chia seeds.
Q. I feel bloated after consuming chia seeds. Why?
A. Chia seeds is high in fiber which can cause some users to experience bloating or excess gas. Start small and increase intake gradually.
Q. Should chia seeds be washed?
A. Chia seeds do not need to be washed.
Q. How should chia seeds be stored?
A. Store in a cool and dry place.
Q. What’s the difference between black and white chia seeds?
A. The difference between the two colors is negligible. Both contain essentially the same amount of nutrients.
Consume maximum 2 tablespoons daily. Drink lots of water to avoid stomach cramps (as the chia seeds will absorb stomach fluid.) Do not swallow a spoonfuls of chia seeds dry. We hope this gives some insight about chia seeds and helps you in your journey to eating clean & staying healthy!
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