Chia seeds were a staple in ancient Maya and Aztec diets to improve stamina and boost energy levels. We may remember it from the chia pet gift item that sprouted grass-like fur. Nowadays, chia is becoming better known as a healthy ingredient in our kitchens. Due to its mild, nutty flavor, it can be added to all kinds of sweet and savory dishes.
Chia seeds contain high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. They are unprocessed and can easily be absorbed by your body (unlike flax seeds that need to be ground to release their beneficial nutrients). But be cautious, you shouldn’t eat more than 1 ounce a day. Chia is very high in fiber and can cause stomach issues when consumed in large amounts.
Only recently I discovered those wonder seeds myself to make jam without the use of pectin and processed sugar, thanks to its gel-ifying properties. And my family and I are hooked. They are so easy to make, only takes you 5 minutes, and they are much healthier than the store-bought jams. Check out the recipe section to get my yummy vanilla-flavored blueberry jam recipe. Don’t like blueberry and vanilla? No worries, the recipe can be used with different kinds of fruit you like the most. Yesterday I made a kiwifruit-strawberry combo. Yummy! Here are the chia seeds health benefits explained.
10 Reasons To Add Chia Seeds To Your Diet
1. Keeps Your Stomach Full, Prevents Overeating And Assists In Weight Loss
Due to its high fiber content, chia seeds will give you a stuffed feeling over a longer period and avoid overeating. When you soak chia seeds, they form a gelatinous substance which is harder to digest and takes more time.
A lot of people eat chia seeds just before their meals to reduce hunger. But note that chia seeds must not be used as a meal replacement, they don’t contain enough nutrients and calories. Although chia seeds aren’t a weight loss miracle on its own, it may be very helpful as a weight loss aid.
2. Reduce Glucose Levels
Chia seeds have a positive effect on balancing your glucose levels, and therefore a great option for diabetics. They can decrease high levels of insulin and reduce insulin resistance. They slow down the metabolic rate of complex carbohydrates.
3. Good For Overall Heart Health
Chia seeds are good for your overall heart health. They lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. So people with a low blood pressure should not add chia seeds on a regular basis to their diet.
4. Chia Seeds And Pregnancy
Chia seeds can safely be added to your diet when pregnant. They will provide you with omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed for a healthy brain development of your baby. Omega-3 can also be found in fish, but a lot of women don’t eat fish during pregnancy because of mercury.
5. Egg Replacer
When you combine chia seeds with water, the outer layer swells to form a gel that can be used as an egg replacement in all your recipes to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of your dishes. Mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, let sit for about 15 minutes and your “egg” is ready for use.
Scroll down for more amazing benefits and uses.
6. Energize Your Body
Maya’s and Aztecs used chia seed to improve their energy levels and stamina. These days it is becoming a staple for many athletes.
ALSO READ: 10 Natural Ways To Feel More Energized
Chia can be used on a gluten-free diet as it does not contain gluten or grains.
8. Good Source Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 Fatty Acids (60% of its lipid profile). They contain 100% more omega-3 than salmon. Omega-3’s can aid us to reduce inflammation, enhance brain function, reduce cholesterol, and depressions.
9. Detoxification Of Your Body
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber which will aid you with high cholesterol levels, better bowel function, and detoxification. Due to their high fiber content and swelling action, they can absorb toxins and aid you to cleanse your body.
ALSO READ: 4 Detox Bath Recipes To Cleanse Your Body
10. Jam-packed With Antioxidants
Chia seeds protect your body against harmful free radicals, aging, and cancer. They contain higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries.
11. Strengthen Bones And Teeth
Chia seeds are rich in calcium that helps you to maintain strong and healthy teeth and bones. They may even prevent osteoporosis. Since I made the chia jam discovery we’ve been adding it to our smoothies, sprinkle them on oats, salads or just make pancakes or jam with them. Yesterday I found a recipe to make chia seed pudding, must try that. I’ll keep you guys posted on how it turned out!
The seeds are safe for kids to eat as well, but like mentioned before do not exaggerate, 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons a day is more than enough to reap its benefits and avoid stomach issues.
What are your favorite chia seeds uses? Please share them with us in the comment box below.
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.