One of the top food trends is the incredibly healthy chia seeds. It is the superfood that everyone seems to be talking about.
The chia flowering plant is a member of the mint family that is native to Guatemala and Mexico. The seeds have been part of the ancient Mayan and Aztec diet. The small oval-shaped chia seeds are mottle-colored with gray, black, white and brown.
The seeds are tasteless and can be easily incorporated in any food without affecting its flavor. They can be sprinkled on top of salads or smoothies. They are considered a power house of nutrients. Lets look at the health benefits of chia seeds.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Chia seeds have a high fiber content and constitute about one-third of the recommended intake per day for adults. Adding chia seeds to your diet can be an easy way to get a good digestive heath.
- They are rich in calcium, which results in healthy bones, thereby preventing osteoporosis. They can also be a great way to get stronger teeth as a serving of chia seeds has 18% of recommended daily requirement of calcium.
- Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain health.
- Chia seeds need not be ground to obtain their nutrients, unlike flaxseeds which are also high in fiber, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
- These seeds contain no grains or gluten. You can get all the health benefits of chia seeds on a gluten-free diet.
- The chia seeds contribute to satiety, which is the feeling of being full, that reduces the cravings for food between meals. The gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids as well as the high protein and fiber content in the seeds contributes to this effect.
- Chia seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid helps regulate sleep and appetite and can improve your mood.
- When mixed with liquids, the outer layer of chia seeds swells to form a gel. This property makes chia seeds as a great egg replacer. They can be used in baked goods to add in some nutrients. To replace one egg, you need to mix 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water and let this rest for 15 minutes. Then stir it and use it in your recipe.
- They are a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians.
- They can regulate insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in blood.
- Chia seeds contain a high level of phosphorous that is essential for healthy teeth and bones. Phosphorous is used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.
- One serving of chia seeds has 30 percent of the recommended daily intake of manganese. Manganese helps the body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. Manganese is also good for bones.