To get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, you don’t need a bunch of pills and supplements. There are plenty of easy ways to add a big nutritional boost to your dishes and make an already healthy meal even better for your mind and your body.
Culinary experiments are always risky, and only the boldest cooks mount the courage to try something entirely different because most fear the results.
Whether you are on a constant search for new foods or are simply trying to add healthy ones to your diet, it wouldn’t hurt to give Chia seeds a chance. Perhaps the main advantage of eating them is that they don’t require any cooking and can be safely consumed raw because they taste great.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds have been around for quite a while, and many centuries, they were an integral part of Mayan and Aztec diets. Don’t make any connections between the fact that both civilizations are now extinct and their passion for these seeds, because there is none.
Salvia hispanica is the plant to grow for harvesting the seeds, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. But the effort would be worth making because they have high nutritional properties and a couple of them are enough to provide the energy needed for a full day.
What do Chia seeds taste like?
The flavor is very mild and almost non-existent. When they are combined with liquid, they start to form a gel-like consistency, so if you were to eat them plain, the gelling process will start in your mouth. Although, I don’t often eat them plain, they’re better mixed in things like smoothies or oatmeal.
5 Ways to Add this Superfood to Your Morning Meals.
1. In Oatmeal: Add a couple tablespoons to cooked oatmeal or other grain porridge. They also make a great addition to overnight oats.
2. In Smoothies: This is a great way to enjoy chia seeds if you don’t like their gelatinous texture. Mixed into a smoothie, they add a crunch reminiscent of raspberry seeds.
3. On Yogurt: Sprinkle the seeds over regular or Greek yogurt for a little extra nutrition and satiety.
4. In Juice: If you enjoy the seeds’ unique texture, try mixing them into fruit juice.
5. As Pudding: Mix chia seeds with your favorite non-dairy milk (or regular milk, I like to use organic coconut milk) to make a light, tapioca-like pudding that can be eaten plain or mixed with fruit or nuts.
What are the 10 Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds?
① Get More Fiber
Helps with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, prevents constipation and enhances regularity. 1 Tablespoon of dry seeds has about 60 calories. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. That is one-third of the daily recommended intake of fiber per day.
② Add Age-Defying Antioxidants
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.
③ Magnesium and Potassium
Two minerals needed for good health and also minerals most Americans don’t get enough of.
④ Stock Up on Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that you need to get from food sources because your body cannot produce them itself. Omega 3 reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. They’re also said to help with weight reduction related to their regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin.
⑤ Combat Diabetes
Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develop when exposed to liquids – can also prevent blood sugar spikes.
⑥ Pack in Protein
We all know protein is an essential macronutrient needed for many functions in the body, including muscle building.
⑦ Satiety – Get Full Faster
Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.
Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.
⑨ Egg Replacer
The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.
⑩ Can Be Digested Whole
Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.
It is always difficult to promote a product that doesn’t taste good but fortunately this is not the case because simply put; Chia seeds don’t have a strong palate.
They can be consumed raw or combined with honey, or lemon juice and virtually anything that you like to eat on a daily basis, to enjoy a tasty meal and the essential nutritional benefits of the seeds. In a nutshell, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, fibers and antioxidants, all of them vital for healthier living.
Where to Buy
You can get them at your local health food store or you can buy them online like Amazon.