You may have heard of chia seeds. Do you know what the chia seed health benefits are? These tiny seeds can provide quite a bit of nutrition into your diet.
I am not sure how many people have seen the ads on television, but when I first heard my mom talking about chia seeds I imagined the Scooby Doo figurine that you planted chia seeds on. After a few short days of growing the seeds on these figurines you had a full bush!
My mom expressed a good laugh when I asked if these were the very seeds that she was cooking with and she answered promptly with a yes. Curious (how could I not be curious that I was eating the seeds of a television ad) I bestowed it upon me to learn more about these seeds.
With knowledge passed on from my mom, an avid chef with the seeds, and the internet I was able to generate information about chia seeds. Hopefully this reduces your confusion so you don’t ask stupid questions like me when you hear about chia seeds being cooked. There are many chia seed health benefits. In this post, I’ll discuss the top 5 chia seed health benefits.
What exactly are the chia seeds?
Chia is a species of flowering plant that is native to Mexico and Central America. Historians argue that this plant was just as essential as maize (corn) in pre-colonial times of Central America. As to their description? Chia seeds can be described as small ovals (one millimeter in size) and are usually black and/or gray in appearance.
What are the health benefits of chia seeds?
Much to my chagrin I found out that these tiny seeds are one of the healthiest substances on the Earth, therefore meaning that they must have profound health benefits. Below are the top 5 (there are of course many more) chia seed health benefits when incorporating them into your diet.
Top 5 Chia Seed Health Benefits
1. Nutrient Rich
In very small doses, chia seeds pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrients. Below are the nutrient facts for just one ounce of chia seeds. It is remarkable how much energy is stored in such a tiny substance.
- Fiber: 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.
One gram is a very small value, and is many times smaller than the palm of your hand. Due to the potency of nutrients, chia seeds are excellent too because very little calories are consumed for such a large energy expenditure. In a one ounce serving there are only 137 calories.
2. Antioxidant Rich
Antioxidants are essential for keeping you healthy by providing protection to the immune system and other bodily functions. Minus blueberries, chia seeds are the richest sources of antioxidants among foods. As stated in previous posts, antioxidants are important to preventing the production of free radicals which in turn slows down aging and some chronic diseases.
3. Great Low-Carb Food
The dietary values on chia seeds may be deceiving depicting carbohydrate levels to be 12 grams per one ounce serving. However, only one gram is actually a true carb and the other 11 grams are really dietary fiber which do not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. This dietary fiber is excellent on digestion because it feeds the bacteria that process nutrients in the intestines and it is also important to feeling fuller after a meal, therefore helping you eat less calories.
4. Reduced Impacts for Type II Diabetes
Of the studies testing chia seeds and its effects on the body, a study with Type II Diabetes patients proved the most effective. In the study one sample of patients were given chia seeds and another population were given wheat bran. The results showed that in the chia seed group blood sugar dropped, blood pressure dropped by 3-6mm/Hg, and an inflammatory marker dropped by upwards of 40%! From this test it can be shown that chia seeds can be beneficial to those suffering from Type II Diabetes.
5. Bone Health
If you are lactose intolerant or choose to not eat dairy products due to your beliefs, chia seeds may be a viable alternative to allow you to continue to intake the necessary amounts of bone supporting minerals needed. Ounce for ounce, chia seeds contain higher levels of calcium than most dairy products and are high in other minerals necessary for bone health.
Low Carb & Gluten Free Chia Seed Recipes
The chia seed health benefits list goes on and on. If you are looking to add some flare to your diet or looking to fill a nutritional void, chia seeds are a fantastic add in. These healthy little seeds pack tons of nutrients while allowing you to have a delicious snack. There are endless ways to get the chia seed health benefits by incorporating them into your diet. When used in the right recipes, you will find that chia seeds are absolutely much better tasting than processed foods.
There are endless ways to get the chia seed health benefits by incorporating them into your diet. When used in the right recipes, you will find that chia seeds are absolutely much better tasting than processed foods.
You may be wondering how you eat these tiny little seeds. You can certainly sprinkle them in a salad or shake them into your water bottle. But, there are much tastier ways to enjoy the health benefits of chia seeds. Chia puddings are very popular as they are just as quick and easy to prepare as a box of instant pudding. And you can make different flavors including a keto pumpkin spice chia seed pudding!
Chia puddings are very popular as they are just as quick and easy to prepare as a box of instant pudding. But, they can also be added to breads, crackers, brownies, and more! Here’s a list of 24 delicious low carb and gluten free chia seed recipes to get you started: