What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are edible seeds that come from the salvia hispanica plant (a relative of mint). While their momentum in the wellness world is somewhat recent, the use of chia seeds in the human diet is actually ancient. In fact, both the Aztecs and Mayans made chia seeds an important part of their diets.
What are the health benefits of chia seeds?
Chia seeds have many health benefits due to their unique structure and nutritional content. Some of these health benefits include:
- Stabilizing blood sugar. When chia seeds are added to water and allowed to sit they form a gel-like substance. This gelling as well as the combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber slows down the metabolism of starch in our bodies. This allows our sugar levels to remain stable.
- They are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for overall cellular health by stabilizing damaging free radicals in our body.
- They are a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for cardiovascular health. If you are one who eats a plant-based diet, incorporating chia seeds into your meals can provide omega-3s for you.
- Increased energy levels. Chia seeds are a complete protein meaning that they contain all 9 essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by our bodies and therefore need to be consumed in our diet.
How can you incorporate chia seeds into your diet?
If you don’t have a problem with texture you can combine them with water and just eat the gel. However, if you have textural issues (like me) then sneaking them into your food is the way to go. Here are some sneaky ways to eat chia:
- Make chia pudding or chia jam
- Mix them into your oatmeal
- Add them to smoothies
- Mix them into your yogurt
- Add them to baked goods
Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground to reap their benefits. However you add them to your diet you are providing yourself with an awesome super food.
Have you ever had chia seeds before? How do you like to eat them?