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SUPER-FOOD : CHIA SEEDS

SUPER-FOOD : CHIA SEEDS

Remember the old Chia Pet commercial? The one with the clay animals that sprouted grass-like “fur”. I remember when they were the coolest thing (or weirdest), when growing up.

Fast forward a few decades and the same chia plant seeds are a huge hit with health aficionados.  And you can now find them at any health store.

In case you missed the Chia seeds commercial here it is 🙂 

Lets dive into what they are…

What are Chia seeds?

Chia seeds are an edible seed that comes from a plant called Salvia Hispanica.

chia seed farm

They are an unprocessed, whole-grain food, traditionally consumed in Mexico, and the southwestern USA.  Today, Chia seeds are grown in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Gautemala, and Australia.  In 2008 Australia was the leading grower of chia seeds.

Chia seeds come in a variety of forms.  You can get chia seeds in whole seeds, chia bran, ground chia and chia seed oil.

 

What are the benefits of Chia Seeds?

More Fibre
A 28-gram/1 ounce serving has 11 grams of fibre – about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults.  Promoting a healthy digestive system.  They also absorb a lot of water, helping you feel fuller longer, so make sure to stay hydrated.

Stacked with Omega-3
If you’re not eating enough fish, they’re a great alternative to get your omega-3’s, which are important for your brain health, and digest better than flax-seed.

Protect Against Diabetes
Being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion.  The coating of chia seeds when exposed to liquids can prevent blood sugar spikes.

Stronger Bones and Teeth
A serving of chia seeds has 18 percent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which helps you well on your way to maintaining healthy bones, oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

High in Anti-Oxidants
The antioxidant activity of chia seeds is higher than any whole food, even blueberries.

Chia seeds pack a powerful punch of nutrients without adding a lot of food to your diet:

  • 8 times more Omega 3 than salmon
  • 6 times more calcium than milk
  • 3 times more iron than spinach
  • 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
  • 6 times Her moter du et fantastisk utvalg av spennende casino online spill, alt fra ukjente spilleautomater du kanskje finner spennende, til det mer kjente utvalget de fleste aktorer har – som de norske favorittene og de enorme progressive jackpottene som flere nordmenn har v?rt sa heldige a vinne de siste arene. more protein than beans
  • 3 times the concentration of essential fatty acids than most grains

 

What are the downsides of Chia seeds?

There’s lots of benefits, however some people say some benefits are over claimed. For example, Chia seeds are supposed to expand in your belly, help you feel full, eat less and ultimately people say you’ll shed the pounds away, but one study has found otherwise:

“Over a 12-week period, we did not see a change in appetite or weight loss” in study participants who consumed chia seeds, says researcher David Nieman, a professor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.  “Our study showed no reduction in body weight, body fat and no improvement in traditional cardiovascular markers from 50 grams of chia per day.”

Therefore don’t count them as an easy way to lose weight.

 

Recipe Ideas

chia barsChia seeds have a very neutral flavour so they can go well with any food.

When in water they will thicken and turn into a gel type substance that helps binds ingredients together.  Therefore some people use them as an egg substitute when baking.
They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, mixed into smoothies, yogurt, or baked goods.

Personally I love putting them in my green smoothies.

Since they are very high in fibre, its recommended to eat a small amount per day – about one ounce.

 

Conclusion

Don’t expect a miracle weight loss cure, however chia seeds can be a very simple way to get a nutritional boost in your diet, including fibre, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3’s.

Important things to follow before purchasing:

  • Avoid chia seeds made in China
  • Always choose certified production
  • Avoid seeds that are not 100% pure
  • Cheaper seeds may contain GMO

If you have any food allergies (especially to sesame or mustard seeds) or on blood thinners or have high blood pressure medications, you should ask your health care provider before adding chia to your diet.

Nutritional value: 
One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fibre, plus vitamins and minerals.

 

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Written by Michael Carels

Mike's on a mission to master his personal nutrition and health, and is sharing the best information and experiences through this website. Live your legend and inspire others!

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