If you have taken a recent glance at healthy recipes online lately, then you have probably come across an interesting, newly popular, ingredient called chia seeds. You may have even started spotting them in tiny packaged at your local grocery store. That is because chia seeds are an up and coming super food that is gaining a lot of popularity, for all the right reasons. Chia seeds are exactly what their title says, seeds; but they are packed full of nutrition! Chia seeds are extracted from chia plants, Salvia Hispanica, a type of flowering plant native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The chia plant is a flowering species that produce purple and white flower clusters at the end of its stems.
Though some believe that chia seeds are the secret key to weight loss, the truth is, there isn’t a magic seed for weight loss. However, the first step to weight loss and overall health is starting with what you consume. Though studies have yet to prove that chia seeds can in fact keep you full longer and help you lose weight, the nutritional value in chia seeds can still give you a kick start to healthy weight loss. Just a 2 Tablespoons serving can give you nearly half of your daily recommended nutritional intake.
Chia seeds are packed full of antioxidants; they help to protect the fats within the seed from going rancid. Antioxidants work to ward of the production of free radicals within the body. Free radicals can damage cell molecules and contribute it diseases, such as cancer. Antioxidants also have great benefits for your skin. Antioxidants work to speed up the skins natural repair system and prevent future damage. Chia seeds can also help to prevent premature aging of the skin caused by inflammation free radical damage, according to Dr. Axe. Chia seeds have a higher antioxidant value than any other whole food!
Another great benefit of chia seeds, is the amount of protein that they contain. Chia seeds are compiled of roughly 14 percent protein. High protein consumption can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol. Chia seeds contain 10 grams of protein in just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.
When you first glance at the nutritional facts on a package of chia seeds you may be turned off by the carbohydrates. But wait, if you look closely you will see that of their 48 percent of carbohydrates, 83 percent of those carbs are in fact fiber, according to, Authority Nutrition. Approximately 95 percent of the fibers are insoluble fibers, which have been related to a reduced risk of diabetes. When chia seeds are placed into water or other liquid, they absorb approximately 10 times their weight in liquid and turn into a gel consistency.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
One of the most sought after benefits of chia seeds is the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids that they contain. Nearly 75 percent of the fats in chia seeds are omega-3 fatty acids and around 20 percent omega-6 fatty acids. Though the omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds aren’t as potent as those found in fish, chia seeds are one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Maintaining low blood pressure is an essential to maintaining your body’s well-being. Lowering your blood sugar can help prevent type 2 diabetes. It also helps to keep you energized longer. Chia seeds help to lower and maintain your blood sugar in a few different ways, such as, the amount of soluble and insoluble fibers. They work to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugar. When consumed with a meal they can allow you to maintain your energy for a longer period of time.
With the amount of pre-made and processed foods that most people are consuming now days, most of us aren’t getting nearly the amount of fiber that we need. One of the most noticed effects of these poor eating habits is irregularity. In order to maintain regularity, you need a consistent amount of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. The outer coating on chia seeds is made up of insoluble fiber, meaning it is unable to be digested. In turn, it works to help keep the digestive process moving smoothly. While the soluble fiber keeps the colon hydrated.
Sneaking some healthy foods into your diet may be a bit of a challenge, after all there are only so many things you can hide spinach in. Chia seeds are extremely versatile and can be packed into a number of things. Chia seeds, even make a great substitute of butter, oil and eggs in baked goods and breads, even pancakes can be packed full of chia nutrition. Some of the most popular ways people are sneaking chia into their diets are smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, drinks and muffins.
The oils in chia seeds are great for keeping your skin hydrated! Chia seed oil reduces trans-epidermal water loss and prevents moisture loss, even in the driest of skin. You can rub chia seed oil directly onto dry areas, you can even add chia seed oil into other products, such as the moisturizer you already use.
The packed full nutritional value in chia seeds help to boost your body’s metabolism and increases muscle mass. Chia seeds also help to regenerate damaged muscle tissue. The high protein and balanced amino acids work towards maintaining lean muscle mass.
High Nutritional Value
Chia seeds don’t just contain higher values of protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also packed full of a number of other vital nutrients, according to, Health With Food.