I just discovered Chia seeds and add them to my overnite oats or smoothie every morning. They are tiny black or white seeds that come from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. They have been consumed for thousands of years and were a staple food in ancient Mayan and Aztec diets. They have gained popularity in recent years due to their numerous health benefits as they are highly nutritious and are considered a superfood. They are kind of amazing, if you add them to liquid they expand and form a gel-like outer substance called mucilage, similar to flax seed that’s great for your digestion. You can get them at any health food store, choose well-sourced organic chia. Here are some of the key health benefits of chia seeds:
1. Nutritional Profile: Chia seeds are packed with essential nutrients. They are an excellent source of fiber, providing both soluble and insoluble types. They also contain a good amount of protein, healthy fats (including omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins (such as vitamin B, vitamin E), and minerals (including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus).
2. High in Antioxidants: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Antioxidants play a vital role in reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of chronic diseases.
3. Promote Digestive Health: The high fiber content in chia seeds can contribute to healthy digestion. They absorb water and form a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, aiding in regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Additionally, the fiber content helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
4. Weight Management: Chia seeds can be a valuable addition to a weight loss or weight management plan. Due to their high fiber and protein content, they can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce appetite, potentially leading to lower calorie intake.
5. Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are beneficial for heart health. They help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
6. Blood Sugar Regulation: Chia seeds have a low glycemic index, meaning they are digested and absorbed slowly, resulting in a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This characteristic can help stabilize blood sugar levels, making chia seeds beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those aiming to manage their blood sugar.
7. Bone Health: Chia seeds contain essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are vital for maintaining healthy bones. These minerals contribute to bone strength and density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Oatless Porridge With Chia Recipe
½ cup dairy free milk
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds (you can also pre-soak these overnight)
½ banana, mashed
¼ cup berries of choice
Take out a bowl and mash ½ banana, top with dairy free milk, shredded coconut, chia seeds or flax meal, top with berries and a dash of cinnamon and serve.
Warm version: Add mashed banana and dairy free milk to a pot on the stove and warm for 2-3 minutes. Place in bowl and top with remaining ingredients.
You can also do a three day Healing Diet Cleanse, with chia.
It’s important to note that while chia seeds offer several potential health benefits, they should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and not relied upon as a sole solution for any specific health condition. As with any dietary changes, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice. Statements not evaluated by the FDA.