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What Are Chia Seeds?

By now you may know that chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods you can provide your body. Let’s learn more about these tiny seeds of power.

Chia seeds are truly a powerhouse of strength. Packed with a large amount of fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, and many essential minerals and antioxidants. As a result of so much “good stuff” chia seeds are thought to be a superfood.  

In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by people wanting to stay healthy or achieve health overall.

 

What Chia Seeds Look Like and How It’s Used

Chia seeds are small, flat, and circular in shape. They have a slightly shiny look and a smooth texture. Their colour ranges from white to brown or black. Most commonly they are found to be black. 

They have an amazing ability to absorb water. When they absorb any liquid, it becomes a bit softer in texture and forms a gel film.

As such they are often used to:

  • thicken sauces
  • complement porridge
  • made into pudding
  • used in baked goods
  • or simply sprinkled on top of salads, yogurt, dips and more!

Typically chia seeds are prepared with liquid, see recipe ideas below. This is the best way they are absorbed and digested. 

In terms of storage, store in a cool, dry spot, and they can last four to five years without refrigeration.

 

The Nutrition Facts

A one-ounce (28g) serving of chia seeds, which is just 2 tablespoon contains:

  • 137 Calories
  • 11g of Fiber
  • 4g of Protein
  • 9g of Fat (5 of which are omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 18% of RDI for Calcium
  • 30% of RDI for Manganese
  • 30% of RDI for Magnesium
  • 27% of RDI for Phosphorus
  • Source of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2
  • Trace minerals zinc and copper. 

It’s important to note that chia seeds are completely non-GMO and naturally gluten-free.

Holy Crap! That is a lot of stuff packed into a tiny seed.

 

Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants

Another area in which chia seeds shine is their high antioxidant content. 

Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which we know can damage cells and molecules in the body and lead to harmful diseases such as cancers. It can also contribute to fast-tracking the aging process. Consuming foods with antioxidants that bind up the free radicals, help combat the distress of free radicals. 

The antioxidants in chia seeds also serve to protect the fats that are in the seeds from going rancid. This is why the chia seeds have a good shelf-life.

 

A Bit More About Fiber From These Seeds

The fiber found in chia seeds is of high soluble fiber, which means it mixes well with water to create a gel-like matrix. That is why it can help you stay full without consuming a lot of calories. Essentially when in your digestive tract or gut, it can help to extend fullness, slow absorption of your food...allowing you to eat less overall. 

In terms of gut health, fiber helps feed the “good bacteria” in your gut. This keeps your intestinal flora satisfied, which is a pivotal part of overall health. 

By weight, chia seeds are 40% fiber. This makes it one of the best sources of soluble fiber in the world.

 

Chia seeds Provide a Good Source of Protein

First off, in terms of protein, chia seeds (like quinoa) are a complete protein. This means they contain all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. 

By weight, they are about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plant-based foods.

Protein is an important component of a healthy diet. It is necessary for muscle production, creating lean mass in the body, and promoting healthy weight loss. Chia seeds offer a pack of protein easily to any food you are eating by simply sprinkling it on top.

 

Overall

Chia seeds are not only rich in nutrients, omega-3 fats, fiber, antioxidants, and protein. They are gluten-free and offer a wealth of health benefits. 

Studies suggest that they have various health benefits as described in this article, but they are also helpful in managing a healthy weight and reducing inflammation in the body and gut. 

If you don’t eat chia seeds already, you should definitely consider adding them to your diet. They are extremely versatile and easy to incorporate into any diet. 

Now that you know they are good for you...here are some ideas to try.

 

Recipes To Try

All of the Holy Crap blends consist of chia seeds, so you are getting a healthy dose of these powerhouse bits. Here are some recipes that are made using the natural superseded blend and are tasty as they are nutritious...

Gluten-Free Homemade Crackers

Everything Bagel Bean Dip

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfait

Ultimate Granola

Berrylicious Smoothie

Mega Berry Homemade Jam

Holy Crap with Almond Milk

chia seeds scattered

 



References

Healthline. Retrieved from:https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#TOC_TITLE_HDR_13

Healthline. Retrieved from:https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/chia-seeds#benefits

Harvard School of Public Health. Retrieved from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/

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