If you haven’t heard of chia seeds or are not adding them into your daily diet, you are sorely missing out. These tiny little magical seeds seriously work wonders when it comes to your health. They are full of important nutrients and many other things that go above and beyond what we need in order to be healthy.
Although chia seeds are growing in popularity, they are largely unknown by the masses. I didn’t even know about them until recently. However, now that I do know about them, I don’t know why I didn’t hear about them sooner!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are very small black seeds that are extracted from the plan Salvia Hispanica. This plant is very closely related to the mint plant. The seeds are taken from the plant and can be sprinkled on top of relatively any meal. They don’t offer any sort of flavor, but do offer an enticing crunch.
Chia seeds were very popular amongst the Aztecs and Mayans in the early years. The term “chia” actually comes from the Mayan word for “strength” due to the benefits that this seed has to offer. The benefits of chia are far and wide but I’m here to tell you about the main ones and why you should add them to your daily diet.
Benefits of Chia
Energy – Chia seeds are full of vital nutrients that are needed in order to keep you going throughout the day. All of the nutrients are natural and raw, as well – only adding to their effectiveness. Getting important vitamins and minerals through natural sources is better for sustaining energy.
Protein – Chia seeds have an immense about of protein. One ounce, or 28 grams, of chia seeds contain a whopping 4 grams of protein. If you’ve ever seen these tiny seeds, you can easily have 3 ounces as a serving and get 12 grams of much needed protein.
Fiber – Chia seeds are one of the best foods when it comes to upping your fiber intake. Just one ounce has 11 grams of fiber! A few servings of these a day and you’ll already have reached for recommended amount of fiber for that day, easily.
Antioxidants – These seeds have a ridiculous amount of antioxidants. Sprinkling some over your morning oatmeal will not only increase your energy for the day, but it will also rid your body of toxins and free radicals, resulting in a reduction of your chances of getting cancers or other diseases.
Crucial Vitamins – Chia is packed with the crucial vitamins we need to get us through the day and for our bodies to be functioning properly. One ounce accounts for 18% of our recommended doses of calcium, 30% of manganese, 30% magnesium, and 27% phosphorus. They also house a large amount of zinc, vitamin b3, potassium, vitamin b1 and vitamin b2 – all essential for a healthy body.
Low Calorie – As far as low calorie foods that are high in fiber, protein, and nutrients, your options are rather limited. Not with chia seeds! These little miracle workers only pack 138 calories per 1 ounce. For the amount of nutrients and benefits you get, that is next to nothing.
Weight Loss – Because chia seeds are low in calorie, while being high in fiber and protein, they may also help you lose weight. The fiber and protein aid in making you feel fuller for longer. This means that you’ll be less likely to eat unhealthy snacks as a filler. They also help you keep the weight off because chia seeds actually absorb water and expand in your stomach over time. This means that even a while after you’ve eaten, the chia seeds make your stomach remain full.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – If I told you that these tiny seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon, would you believe me? It’s true! They contain much more omega-3s than even a big piece of salmon. Omega-3s are and important fat that many people don’t seem to get enough of. Good fats like omega-3s can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and many other health concerns.
Improve Exercise Performance – If you’re having a hard time in the gym, maybe adding chia seeds to your diet can help solve the problem! Since they give you so much energy, you’ll be able to find the motivation to really push forward at the gym and make improvements. But that’s not all! Throwing some chia seed in your post-workout snack will up your protein intake and provide your body with the needed amino acids to rebuild and recover your muscles.
Skin Improvement – Since there are so many important vitamins and healthy fats in chia seeds, they will help to restore and revitalize your skin. When your skin lacks the support from your body, it can wear down a lot easier. Consuming chia seeds will help heal your skin from the inside out.
Best Uses of Chia Seed
You can really throw chia seeds on relatively any food and they will be perfect. Here are some of the best ways you can use chia and get the most benefits.
On a Salad – Many people refrain from eating salads because they’re not very filling. Salads offer a large serving of needed vegetables but leave you feeling hungry soon after. By tossing on some chia seeds, you will reap all the benefits of a salad and stay fuller for longer.
In a Smoothie – Chia seeds mix so well with smoothies. If you’re in a hurry and need to make a quick to-go meal, mixing up a smoothie and throwing in some chia seeds is a healthy way to have a snack and keep full.
On Your Breakfast – These seeds are best when consumed in the morning because they offer so much long sustaining energy needed to get you through the day. It’s also always a plus to get a big breakfast that will keep you full al day!
Chia seeds benefits are very extensive. If you don’t already eat these on a daily basis, you certainly should start!