Chia seeds have taken the health world by storm. They’re loaded with omega-3 fats, protein and fiber. In fact, just one ounce of chia seeds contains about 20% of your daily fiber needs.
But what are chia seeds exactly? And why should you add them to your diet? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about these small but mighty seeds.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are small black or white seeds grown in central and south America. These seeds have a nutty flavor and a crunchy texture when added to baked goods, smoothies or even sprinkled over salads.
If you’re looking to add chia seeds to your diet, be sure to buy them in either black or white. The white seeds are hulled, whereas black seeds contain the hull. Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, minerals, healthy fats and antioxidants. In fact, they contain more of certain nutrients than any other seed or grain.
Chia seeds have the highest level of ALA in the entire plant kingdom. ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid shown to help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and protect against certain cancers.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
- To use chia seeds as an egg replacement, dissolve 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. This mixture can be refrigerated up to 1 week and used as a substitute for eggs in baked goods.
- Chia seeds can be eaten raw or roasted.
- You can add them to cereals, yogurt, smoothies, salads and more.
- Chia seeds can also be ground into a meal for baking or sprinkled on top of dishes for an extra boost of fiber, protein, healthy fats and minerals.
- To grind chia seeds, use a coffee grinder or blender. When using chia seeds in baking, make sure to add plenty of extra liquid. Chia seeds absorb water and expand, which is what makes them so beneficial for health. However, this also means you need to add more liquid to your recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, add 3/4 cup of water. Then add 1/3 cup of ground chia seeds.
Benefits of Chia Seeds When Consumed Regularly?
Chia seeds benefits are :-
- Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, protein, minerals and healthy fats.
- Chia seeds are also low in calories and do not contain any cholesterol.
- As an added bonus, these seeds are very easy to add into your diet, taste great and are easy to digest. They’re also extremely versatile and can be incorporated into many dishes.
- Calcium, phosphorus & magnesium are present in chia seeds, which in result improves bone health.
- omega-3 fatty acid present in chia seeds reduces risk of cardiac diseases.
- Lower blood sugar levels.
- Chia seeds are also high in fibre, which helps to keep you full and satisfied.
- Chia seeds are full of antioxidants which eradicates free radicals & boost collagen production results in improved skin health.
- These seeds may also help you in achieving your weight loss goal. In a study, those who consumed chia seeds for 12 weeks lost 2 pounds more than the other group who were not consuming chia seeds. To know more about fat loss click here
Nutritional value of Chia Seeds
- One ounce of chia seeds contains about 8 grams of protein, 3 grams of fibre, 12 grams of fat and 5 grams of carbohydrates. Keep in mind that the calories and other nutrients will vary slightly depending on the brand you choose.
- Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, calcium, protein, fibre and antioxidants. They also contain very few calories and no cholesterol. In fact, chia seeds only have about 160 calories per ounce.
Side Effects of Eating Chia Seeds
While chia seeds are very healthy, they do contain a small amount of oxalic acid. This acid is known to cause kidney stones in people who are at high risk for them. For example, people who already have kidney stones or are very deficient in vitamin D are at a higher risk. If you have a family history of kidney stones, you may want to speak to your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet. There are many other great ways to improve your health, so it may not be worth the risk.
Chia seeds are an easy way to add more fibre and protein to your diet. They taste great both on their own or incorporated into other dishes. Whether you eat them raw or roasted, they’re sure to add a boost of energy and help keep you full for hours.
Besides all of that, chia seeds are super nutritious and are easy to incorporate into almost any diet. Whether you eat vegan, gluten-free or follow a low-carb diet, chia seeds can fit right in.
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