Chia seeds are one of my most favorite little choices that matter 😉 Here’s the “skinny” on why it’s a healthy choice!
Chia seeds are a complete source of protein
They provide all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form
They are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids – even more than flax seeds!
They are super rich in antioxidants which helps fight off free radicals.
They provide tons of fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
The flavor is very mild and almost non-existent. When they are combined with liquid they start to form a gel like consistency, so if you were to eat them plain the gelling process starts in your mouth.
Chia Seeds have …
- 2 times the protein of any other seed or grain
- 5 times the calcium of milk
- 3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
- 3 times more iron than spinach
Chia sees help you stay fuller longer and helps sustain your energy levels! Chia turns into a gel when it’s added to liquids. This also takes place in your stomach which slows the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. Also, the foods you eat with Chia seeds are released slowly into your system which is what helps sustain your energy levels longer! It has been said that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. For general purposes of health, nutrition and energy an adult would typically consume about 1-2 tbsp dry seeds daily.
Who wouldn’t want to have Chia seeds in their healthy diet?
Here’s a few ideas on how you can quickly work chia seeds into your daily diet! You can drink the seeds in liquid without waiting for a gel to form. Raw is always best, but research has shown that the seeds are very hardy and few nutrients are lost in cooking, even baking. I’ll talk more about cooking and baking with chia seeds in Wednesday’s post!
- Mix them in your morning oats
- Add them to your smoothies or protein shakes
- Mix them in your Greek yogurt
- I love to save a bit of my fruit smoothie and mix it in with chia seeds and cottage cheese
- Add them to your beverages. I like it in tea – The seeds will soften and swell, but the tea does not turn into a gel. The seeds are very robust and will not lose nutritional value when heated.
- Mix with peanut butter for your celery or apple dip
- Mix with almond or peanut butter for a delicious spread for toast or crackers
- Sprinkle over Kale chips
- Mix them with applesauce and cinnamon
- Sprinkle on salads for a nutty taste
- Sprinkle them on anything and everything you’d like!
A typical diet consists of 1-2 tablespoons per day. For weight loss, 3-4 tablespoons of the seeds per day is a good range. 1 Tablespoon of dry seeds have about 60 calories, 5 g of fat, 6 g of carbohydrate, 6 g of fiber, 3 g of protein
You do not need to grind the seeds – I find that I stay fuller for longer if I have whole chia seeds, which suggests to me that the ground chia seeds digest a little faster. Chia seeds are much easier to digest than flax seeds and most people can digest the seeds whole. They are rather gentle on the digestion system, but it does seem to take a little longer to digest – this is one of the reasons chia is so good for weight loss! If you have digestive issues, colitis, IBS, etc. eating the whole chia can irritate the intestines – everyone is different so do what your body likes best. Start with a small amount, like a teaspoon, then wait a day or two to see how your system copes with them.
Click here for more tips on cooking with chia seeds.
What’s your favorite way to eat these little wonders? Tell us below in the comment section!
Further reading from one of my favorites Dr Weil:
“Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. I’ve read that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.”