Top 10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds which are sourced from the plant Salvia Hispanica. Chia seeds were widely used by the Mayans (the word ‘chia’ actually means ‘Strength’ in ancient Mayan), so it’s no wonder they’ve got so many health benefits. I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 health benefits of chia seeds, so you can see exactly why they are such a fabulous superfood, so sprinkle them on your smoothie bowls and bake them into your muffins!
They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for increasing the ‘good’ cholesterol in our bodies and helping to prevent heart attack and stroke; improve eye health; fight depression and anxiety and even promote brain health during pregnancy!
Chia seeds are full of antioxidants, which is a phrase you hear a lot when talking about healthy foods, but you might not know what an antioxidant is. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules, which some experts believe can be a factor in the cause of cancer. (For more information on the link between chia seeds and preventing cancer, take a look at this article here.)
A 1 ounce serving of chia seeds provides 5.6 grams of protein, so there’s one answer to the ‘where do vegans get their protein from?’ we hear all too often.
Chia seeds are versatile and have a lot of uses. They can be used in smoothies, added to ‘Buddha bowls', mixed into desserts or even be used as an egg replacement in cooking. Making them a much healthier egg alternative for you, the planet and the chickens.
5.) General Health
Evidence suggests that chia seeds promote and support a lower overall body weight, increased energy and a healthy complexion, so you can feel great and look great all at the same time!
With 11.2g of fibre per ounce, and statistics showing that few people are reaching their GDA (guideline daily amount) of 30g, you should definitely be making space in your cupboard for these small seeds of goodness.
High fibre diets have also been proven to reduce the chances of diabetes, as high fibre meals help to keep blood sugar stable. Many health professionals also recommend chia seeds to help manage diabetes. (But I'm not professional, so be sure to talk any diet changes through with your doctor beforehand).
8.) Vitamins & Minerals
Chia seeds contain vitamins A, B, E and D. They also rich in minerals, so can you really afford to NOT be adding them to your diet?
One ounce of chia seeds provides about 18% of your required daily calcium intake, which is crucial for bone health and maintenance.
10.) Pregnancy Health
During pregnancy, chia seeds can aid in the development of your baby’s brain and are also great for helping your body replenish any lost nutrients quickly and boost your energy levels, and that’s definitely something women need during pregnancy!
To use chia seeds in vegan baking as an egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and leave to sit for a few minutes. It will form a gel which can be used to replace the egg.
This is just 10 of the reasons why chia seeds are so great, so get yourself down to your local supermarket and find them near the other seeds and nuts. Know of any health benefits I've missed out? Use our comment section to let everyone know of anything else!