The media has fallen head over heels for all things chia seeds recently, but are they all they're cracked up to be? In the next few minutes we’re going to dig deep into what chia seeds are, and if you should be eating them to get healthier!
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What Are Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are the seed of the Salvia Hispanica plant, which is a flowering plant from the mint family. However unlike their peppermint counterparts - where we go crazy for the sweet refreshing taste of the leaves, with the Salvia Hispanica the world is only after the seeds, known as chia seeds.
The Benefits Of Chia Seeds:
It is claimed by some that this little ‘superfood’ is one of the healthiest foods in the world, but research has shown that they aren’t quite that amazing. To help you understand more about them, below are the 7 top reputed benefits of chia seeds.
1. Massive nutrients for very few calories
Although tiny, these power packed seeds contain intense amounts of nutrients. In fact, for just 1 serving of 28 grams you’ll get the following:
Fibre: 11 grams.
Protein: 4 grams.
Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
2. Almost all the carbs are from fibre
At first when you look at the nutritional information for chia seeds you may be taken aback by the 12 grams of carbs, however if you look deeper you’ll find that 11 of those come directly from fibre.
Not only will this keep you fuller longer, but it will also help with healthy bowel movements.
3. Extremely high in protein
Now we can’t compare them to their animal based counterparts, but when compared to other plants chia seeds contain 14% protein by weight, which is significantly higher than most other plant based products.
4. Help you lose weight
As we mentioned above, chia seeds are very high in fibre that helps you stay fuller for longer. By keeping you satisfied over the course of the day you’ll consume less food, helping with weight loss.
5. High in omega-3 fatty acids
One of the most important reasons that people eat chia seeds is because of their very high omega-3 content. In fact, gram for gram, chia seeds contain more omega-3’s than salmon!
Per serve they contain 5 grams of omega-3’s which is more than most people consume in their regular daily diet.
6. Good for your bones
These power packed seeds are also super high in nutrients that are essential for bone health. They contain large amounts of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein, all of which are essential for helping prevent bone degenerative diseases. Plus, gram for gram they contain much more calcium than most dairy products.
7. Improve exercise performance
One of the many ways to eat chia seeds is to consume them as a part of your sports drink. Legend has it that the Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds to fuel them through battle. And a recent study found that by replacing Gatorade with chia seeds, participants didn’t suffer any loss of sports performance.
How to eat chia seeds:
Convinced that you need more chia seeds in your diet? Chances are if you’re like most people you don’t know how to consume them, so watch the video below for some useful tips; or check out some of the chia recipe links below.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about chia seeds and how to make the most of this nutrient packed 'superfood'.