The Nutritional Effects of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day. They were prized for their ability to provide sustainable energy. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Even though there is sufficient evidence that they were used in ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern-day superfood. Let us look at a few reasons why they are among the healthiest foods on the planet –
1. Chia seeds deliver a huge amount of nutrients with very few calories
Chia seeds are loaded with important nutrients which are beneficial to both the body and the brain. Consumed by health conscious people all around the world, 28g of these seeds (2 tablespoons) contains:
- 11g fiber,
- 9g fat (5 of which are healthy Omega-3 fats)
- 4g protein
- 1g net carbs
- 101 calories
Along with this, they contain high amounts of calcium, zinc, potassium, Vitamin B2, Thiamine, and Niacin. That’s a lot of nutrition right there in a fistful of tiny seeds! They are also grown organically, are non-GMO and gluten-free.
2. They may help with weight loss
Chia seeds are 40% fiber, by weight. Because of their high percentage of fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, developing a gel-like consistency and expanding in your stomach. This boosts your satiety and slow absorption of food, automatically curbing your urge to consume more calories. Since an ounce of these seeds contains only 1g net carbs, it again helps in weight management. Combining chia seeds with a healthy lifestyle can increase its benefits for your body.
3. They are high in protein
Compared to may plant foods, these seeds are quite high in quality protein. Especially for people who eat little or no animal protein, they are an excellent protein source. They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids which our bodies can make use of in daily activities.
4. They can help you stay hydrated
Trade in those sports drinks for a chia seed drink if you are a marathon runner or an athlete. Since these seeds can soak up a lot of water, they might help athletes or endurance runners stay hydrated.
5. They can help build strong bones
These seeds are high in phosphorus and magnesium – two minerals that can help keep our bones healthy. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 122 milligrams of phosphorus and 47 milligrams of magnesium—about 17% and 15% of your recommended daily intake, respectively. The calcium content is also impressive, 18% of RDA in a single ounce.
The best thing about these seeds is that they are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. You can add them to pretty much anything. Put them in smoothies or on top of a salad, or use them to make a chia seed pudding. Below are a few more ways to include chia seeds into your diet:
1. Add them to your fruit juices
2. Sprinkle them on your porridge or puddings
3. Add them to baked goods
4. Sprinkle them on top of yogurt, cereal, vegetable or rice dishes
5. As they have the ability to absorb water and fat, they can be used to thicken sauces or even used as an egg substitute in recipes.
Adding these seeds to dishes can hugely boost their nutritional value. Just remember not to eat too much at a time as due to their high fiber content, there might be a possibility of digestive side effects. 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds twice per day is a safe dosage.
Would you like to try some recipes out yourself? Here is a basic recipe for chia seed pudding that is simple as well as a delicious, healthy snack!
To get started, try our high-quality premium raw chia seeds. All natural, non-processed and sourced ethically, you can have them on hand whenever you want to jazz up your salads, gravies, puddings, and smoothies. Just carry them around in your bag and your nutrition for the day is set!
You can get it on Amazon as well:
- Abhisarika Das