What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds native to Mexico which come from a flowering plant ‘Salvia Hispanica’ which is related to the mint family. Don’t be fooled by their size as they do pack a nutritional punch. In fact, chia comes from the Mayan word meaning ‘strength’ and these seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans as they prized their ability to fuel performance and provide long-lasting energy as well as a food for generations to thrive on.
Here Are 10 Benefits Of Adding Chia Seeds Into Your Diet
- Chia seeds slow digestion, resulting in significantly improved blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Chia seeds are high in protein which makes them a great addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet.
- With over 20% omega 3, eating this tiny nutritious seed will increase your dietary intake of essential fatty acids, amino acids and prebiotics.
- Chia seeds contain natural antioxidants which protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid, protecting the nutrients and giving the chia seeds a naturally long shelf life.
- Chia is also high in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.
- Chia seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan which helps improve and regulate appetite, sleep and mood.
- Due to the high fibre content of chia seeds, they absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water which creates a gel-like consistency so they can be used in cooking to replace eggs which are beneficial for vegans and those with egg intolerances.
- The carbohydrates in chia seeds are predominantly fibre. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which are both important for gut health. Insoluble fibre makes up around 80 percent of the fibre in chia seeds. Chia also expands in the stomach making you feel fuller for longer and can also help regulate bowel movements and manage constipation.
- Chia seeds have a mild taste making them a versatile food that can be added to baked goods, smoothies, yoghurt, muesli, soaked in water or milk to make a chia pudding and more.
- Lastly, as they are only one ingredient, chia seeds are raw, gluten, dairy, grain, egg and nut free and also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Are Chia Seeds A Part Of Your Diet?