Chia seeds are part of the plant Salvia hispanica. The name ‘chia’ is thought to mean ‘strength’. Chia seeds were a staple food of the Aztecs and the Mayans dating back to 3500 BC. Because the health benefits of chia seeds were so valuable, they played a key role in the daily diets of these ancient people.
These seeds are a whole grain food containing four grams of protein, nine grams of healthy fats, and eleven grams of fiber per one ounce serving.
At just 139 calories per serving, that’s a lot of nutritional punch for such a tiny seed. They also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. We know the critical role that these substances play in our bodies. So far, chia seeds seem a likely candidate for a super healthy food we should definitely add to our diets.
28 grams of chia seeds manages to pack into them;
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2
As if that wasn’t good enough, chia seeds are considered a whole grain food, yet they are gluten free. Plus they’re usually grown organically and are non GMO.
Today, thanks to their wide-spread availability, they’re a powerhouse addition to anybody’s diet! Rich in nutrients and so easy to use, they can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to oatmeal, puddings, and baked goods, and even included into your smoothies, breakfasts, yogurt, salads, quinoa and veggie dishes.
They also have an amazing ability to absorb water and fat, so they can be used to thicken sauces or as a vegan egg substitute in recipes too!
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Omega 3 fatty acids
Chia seeds have a lipid profile that’s 60 percent omega 3 fatty acids, making them the richest plant-based source of this healthy fat. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body, enhance brain function, and reduce cholesterol.
Chia seeds have tons of fiber, which also reduces inflammation while regulating bowel function. Fiber also keeps the body satiated for longer periods of time. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds have 10 grams of fiber.
One of the most important health benefits of chia seeds is a high level of antioxidants, which protect the body from the free radicals that cause heart disease and cancer. Adding chia seeds to your water provides tons of extra antioxidants while keeping you hydrated–two things that are essential for great skin.
Loaded with protein
One ounce of chia seeds adds 4.7 grams of protein to your diet. Not only is the protein from chia plant-based, it’s also complete protein (or whole protein)! Complete protein contains the desired proportion of all nine essential amino acids believed to be necessary for the dietary needs of humans!
Chia seeds give you natural energy without the crash of caffeine. Add them to your water before you head out on a run and you might find yourself adding an extra mile! Mix them into to your morning smoothie and you won’t need that cappuccino after all.
They’re Good For Your Digestive System
The fiber in chia seeds also help to support your digestive system. Feeding the bacteria in the intestine, which helps them to thrive and nourish your body with essential compounds for immunity and overall health.
Chia Seeds Support Healthy Bones
Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than most dairy products providing 18% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults in a single ounce! As well as being high in several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.
They’re A Natural Beauty Food!
The blend of nutrients in chia seeds such as healthy fats, protein and minerals including zinc help promote healthy skin, hair and nails.
They Help To Detoxify The Body
As the highest combined plant source of omega-3, fibre and protein, chia seeds are a great addition to your detoxification efforts. They help support your body’s natural detoxification pathways, repair your cells, reduce inflammation and support a healthy digestive system.