Chia Seeds, the tiny black and white seeds originating rom Mexico and Guatemala, have been touted as a superfood with good reason. They are a great addition to any diet and can help with a wide range of issues. Here are our top 10 reasons to eat chia seeds.
1. High in omega 3
Chia seeds are an excellent source of vegetarian omega 3, with one 15g serve containing over 3g of this essential fatty acid. Omega 3 is essential for heart health, brain function, reducing inflammation in the body and more.
2. Helps keep you bowel healthy.
A daily dose of chia seeds will help to provide fibre that can prevent constipation and colon cancer. Each 15g serving of chia contains 5g of fibre in a blend of soluble and insoluble forms. This helps to improve digestive health, preventing constipation and potentially colon cancer down the line.
3. Helps to heal your digestion
The soluble fibre and mucilage (i.e. – slime) in chia seeds helps to heal your gut and provides fuel for the trillions of good bacteria living in your gut. By presoaking your chia seeds overnight you’ll release the mucilage and help it to sooth and heal your intestinal lining.
4. Improves gut immunity
By providing fibre to feed the microorganisms in your gut chia seeds can improve your immunity. 80% of your immune system is in your gut and it is all dependent on your ‘good guys’ (ie probiotics) to keep your immunity up and running.
5. Good source of protein
Chia seeds contains 8 essential and 9 non-essential (your body can make them) amino acids. It also has 20% protein and can add to your daily intake. Protein is essential for muscle building, mood balance, sleep, hormones and so much more!
6. Antioxidant boost
Chia seeds have an ORAC antioxidant value of 10,250 which is pretty darn high. This means that it has powerful antioxidant nutrients that can help to fight free radicals in the body. Less free radicals means less chance of disease.
7. Great for diabetics
The fibre in chia seeds helps to slow the absorption of sugars in the intestine, leading to a slower and more regulated release of sugar into the blood. This is great for balancing blood sugar and diabetics, who require a steady level of blood sugar to prevent becoming hyper- or hypo-glycemic.
8. Great for detoxification
The insoluble and soluble fibre in chia seeds make them an excellent adjuvant to any detoxification program. Eating 1 tbsp, presoaked in water each day helps to bind toxins in the gut and carry them though the bowel for excretion.
9. Improve heart health
Chia seeds have been found in a study to decrease blood pressure and C-Reactive protein, a sign of inflammation. They may also reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. This may be due tot eh presence of omega 3 which has longstanding evidence for its benefit in cardiovascular disease.
10. Good source on minerals
Chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium and also contain iron, potassium and manganese. Eating chia seeds in their raw, uncooked form will help to maximize absorption of these minerals.
Now you know how amazing chia seeds are for your health, you need to know how you eat them. Chia seeds can easily be sprinkled onto muesli, salads and yoghurt, or added to smoothies. The best way to eat chia is presoaked, just in some water overnight then used in smoothies, cereals with fruit or yoghurt. You can also make a chia pudding, which is delicious and allows you to get a good amount of chia in so you can take advantage of all the health benefits.
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