How Chia Seeds Benefits Your Body
Many people may be familiar with the chia plant for its role in the quirky sprouting Chia Pets that were popular during the 1980s. Although Chia Pets may be waning in popularity, chia seeds are gaining a wide following for their nutritional value and potential health benefits. Originally from Mexico and Guatemala, chia seeds are now being produced and sold across the world as a highly nutritious superfood.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds come from the chia plant, which has the scientific name of Salvia hispanica. The plant is part of the mint family, and it is native to Mexico and Central America. The chia plant has been cultivated and consumed since the ancient Aztec times for its nutritional properties and mild nutty taste. Chia seeds contain extremely high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a great deal of protein, fiber, and calcium, and plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
The Benefits of Chia Seeds
There are many reasons why chia seeds are the ideal superfood. Not only are they easy to eat, store, and prepare, but they are very beneficial to health. The following are some reasons why more people are looking to add the Chia seeds benefits to their diet:
Chia seeds can be used in a variety of ways. They can be eaten raw, added to salads, soups, and main courses, ground and added to flour for baking, added to water, juices, or smoothies, or even soaked and blended for use as a thickener in sauces and puddings.
2. Weight Loss
Chia seeds are a great weight loss tool as they are packed with nutrients but low in calories. In addition, they absorb a great deal of water, which means you feel fuller for longer. Moreover, chia seeds regulate blood sugar levels, so they can reduce food cravings and prevent your body from storing unnecessary fat.
3. Lowered Risk of Disease
Chia seeds can help prevent a number of diseases. The high levels of fatty acids help to protect against heart disease, and the vitamins and minerals can boost the immune system. In addition, studies have shown that chia seeds may be effective in lowering blood pressure and alleviating the symptoms of diabetes.
How to Introduce Chia Seeds to Your Diet
It is very easy to add chia seeds to any meal as they can prepared in so many different ways. They can be added to almost any food or drink imaginable, and you can even buy pre-made products on the market that contain chia seeds. The following are ten different ways to introduce chia seeds into your diet:
Add chia seeds to water, lemon juice, and sugar for a healthy and refreshing drink. The seeds can also be added to juices, blended in smoothies, or steeped in hot water for a healthy cup of tea.
Give a bit of crunch to any salad by sprinkling raw chia seeds on top. Chia seeds can also be toasted or baked to bring out the nutty flavors or chopped and added to fresh mixes like tabouli salad. Chia sprouts can also add flavor and greenery to salads.
Chia seeds make a welcome addition to any soup, as you can simply throw them into a broth-based soup whole or blend them into a rich and creamy soup for thickness and flavor.
There are many ingenious ways you can incorporate healthy chia seeds into tasty appetizers. Try grinding the seeds and mixing them into fish cakes or creamy dips. You can also sprinkle them on top of canapes or use them inside of spring rolls.
Chia seeds can be used in almost any main course dish you can imagine. Sprinkle them on omelets and cereals for breakfast, use them in spreads for sandwiches for lunch, mix them with ground beef for meatballs, or use chopped chia seeds as a coating for baked chicken for dinner.
One of the unique characteristics of chia seeds is that the longer they stay in liquid, the thicker they get. This makes them a great addition to puddings, batters for cakes, or jelly-based desserts.
The thickening agent in chia seeds also makes them easy to use in stir fry sauces, meat pastes, barbecue sauce, creamy mayo-based spreads, and jams and jellies.
Many people grind chia seeds into a flour for baking cakes, breads, and biscuits. In addition, chia seeds can be used in place of nuts in brownies, cookies, and muffins.
For a quick and easy snack, simply sprinkle chia seeds over yoghurt, add them to granola, or eat them raw. They can also be baked into thin crackers for a crunchy treat.
Chia seeds and sweets go together very well, which is why you can now find many confectionary products that contain chia seeds such as truffles, fudge, peanut brittle, and chocolate bars.
If you are looking for an easy way to boost your immune system, increase your nutrient intake, and lower your calories, chia seeds are an excellent choice. They are high in the things your body needs like protein, fatty acids, and fiber, yet low in bad fats and cholesterol. In addition, they can be used in a variety of recipes, so it is easy to add this superfood to any meal plan.