Whenever I hear the word “Super-Food” – my BS radar instantly kicks in.
As with most food fads in my lifetime, we might be wise to take the ‘chia seed benefits’ with a pinch of salt!
Superfood or marketing hype?
Chia seeds have been all over the health programs on TV lately, and seem to be mentioned in every health magazine and health blog I visit.
However, since I started my vegan journey at the beginning on July I’ve been in constant discussion about diets with everyone I meet.
But surprisingly, not many people seem to know much about Chia Seeds, and more importantly, the supposed ‘Benefits of Chia Seeds’.
Therefore, I’m writing this blog post for you to help you better understand the growing popularity of the Chia Seed. Then you’ll be better informed to decide whether you should be including some in your diet.
Chia seeds come from the plant Salvia hispanica, a plant native to Mexico and Central America, and a staple food of the Aztec diet.
Once an obscure plant, chia seeds can be found in most of your local supermarkets and health food stores.
You can eat Chia Seeds by themselves, might stick in your teeth!
The mild, nutty flavour of chia seeds makes them easy to add to your snacks, baking and in your smoothies.
You can sprinkle them on your cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt.
In fact, these tiny seeds can boost many meals and snacks to a nutritional powerhouse.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
So what’s in them then Greg?
Glad you asked…
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, and protein.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, as well as many minerals and high amounts of omega-3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids.
The highly concentrated nutrients of these small seeds has led to many of the wild health claims, such as aiding weight loss and helping with several diseases.
As far as I know, the weight loss claims come from the fact the seeds swell up in your tummy when mixed with water, plus the high fibre content also helps fill you up.
As with all these health foods, you have to be careful what you believe.
But I know for sure, since I’ve been adding in chia seeds to my smoothies, I really do feel more full.
I read Chia means strength, and history says ancient cultures used these tiny seeds to boost energy.
This does make sense, because of the high concentration of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, antioxidants, and calcium.
But don’t suddenly expect to lose a ton of weight or have the strength of superman just by adding these seeds to your diet.
But I think you will truly benefit by using Chia Seeds as another step towards a fitter, healthier and happier you…
And that’s what is so important. Right?
Here are three simple ways to add some chia seed into your diet.
1. Chia Smoothies
I use unsweetened almond milk, but you can use your semi-skimmed regular milk or even water if that’s your preferred smoothie base. Add your veggie and fresh or frozen fruit, and then add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds. I also grind up flax seeds, hemp seeds, melon seeds and sunflower seeds to get my huge healthy dose of, fibre, protein, and antioxidants.
2. Chia Hummus
1 can chickpeas (rinse and drain)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
2-3 tbsp chia seeds
Use your food processor to blend the ingredients in minutes. First, purée the chickpeas until smooth. Then, add all the other ingredients and purée again until smooth. Your hummus is now complete and ready to be spread on your pita bread and tortillas. You can also use this recipe as a vegetable or chip dip, and even to replace salad cream or mayonnaise in your sandwiches.
3. Chia Oatmeal
Chia seeds absorb water and milk, so they’re a great way to thicken up a bowl of oatmeal while also adding extra fibre to your diet and as I mentioned above, this will help fill you up faster. So in theory can aid in your weight loss program. You can mix a tablespoon of seeds directly into your cooked oats, or “gel” them first by allowing them to soak up ¾ cup of milk or almond milk. (Not an oatmeal fan? You can also sprinkle chia seeds over cold cereal or yogurt for a breakfast boost.)
If you are interested in some more Chia Seed Recipes here is a link to a great website I’ve found, and steadily trying out all these Chia Seed Recipes: https://draxe.com/chia-seed-recipes/
Good luck in your experimentation, and please leave a comment with your thoughts about Chia Seeds and some of your favourite recipes so everyone can benefit.
Sharing is caring remember…
That’s all for now. I got to do the shopping for a friend who just had a hip replacement operation at 47!! Poor bugger!
Over and out…
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