What makes chia seeds a superfood? Let’s talk about chia seed’s nutritional facts, side effects, and usage. We’ll also dive into why chia seed is useful when it comes to weight loss and total health.
What are chia seeds?
Legend has it that ancient Mayans and Aztecs consume chia seeds for energy. No wonder the word “chia” means “strength” in Mayan language. Chia seeds look like tiny black and white seeds. It‘s from the Salvia Hispanica plant, which comes from South and Central America. They look like ordinary seeds, but once immersed in water they form into a gelatinous transparent glob due to its high fiber content.
Chia Seeds Nutrition
Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, calcium, antioxidants, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Because of its high protein content, you use chia seeds to replace egg in raw or vegan recipes. Gram per gram, chia seeds has more vitamins and minerals than most foods out there.
Chia Seeds Effect in Weight Loss
The fiber in chia seeds helps you to feel fuller longer, reducing your food intake. That’s the reason why weight watchers and people who are on a diet consume chia seeds to regulate their hunger. Fiber also helps to keep the gut healthy. Because of its characteristics, chia seeds are effective on regulating bowels and keep blood sugar at normal levels.
Chia seed’s protein content provides the needed energy and amino acids, which make these seeds a favorite by people who practice vegan and vegetarian diets. This combination of fiber, protein, and minerals stay in the gut longer, giving you slow and steady energy throughout the day.
Chia Seeds and Bone Health
People who are lactose intolerant may benefit from consuming chia seeds. Even just a few teaspoons of chia seeds already contain more calcium than a glass of milk. It also has trace minerals such as boron, which contributes to better bone health.
Chia Seeds for Energy
Unlike with the usual carbohydrates or proteins, chia seeds are lightweight but nutritious. It’s all fiber and minerals without the starches and animal protein. It will make you full but not weight you down.
Chia Seed as a Low-Sodium Food
This superfood has the least amount of sodium as compared to the usual seeds. Foods that are less in sodium are essential especially for people who have high blood pressure or kidney disease.
Side Effects of Eating Chia Seeds
Some people cannot tolerate chia seeds, particularly those who don’t consume fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. Chia seeds may initially cause soft stools and more frequent bowel movement in the first weeks of adding it into your diet. Likewise, consuming too much of it dry can cause constipation. That’s the reason why chia seeds must be soaked for at least an hour in water before consumption.
Preparing Chia Seeds Raw and Cooked
Chia seeds can go with just about any food because of its neutral taste. It blends well with milk or fruit juice. It can also enhance the nutritional content of your daily oatmeal or pancake. Once soaked, chia seeds can work well as a thickening agent for stews and soups.
You can also make chia seeds flour by grinding it dry in a food processor or coffee grinder. Another way to enjoy chia seeds is by heating it in a pan without oil. Toasted chia seeds will add an extra crunch and flavor into salads, dips, and even as a topping for breakfast cereals.
Chia seeds can be added in yogurt, blueberry, and banana smoothie for a quick and healthy breakfast. Aside from that, chia seeds may replace
your usual nuts when garnishing baked goods like muffins, cookies, and bread.
Tips for Adding Chia Seeds in Your Diet
When it comes to finding chia seeds, look for the black and white variety. That’s because brownish chia seeds aren’t mature enough and may taste bitter. Seeds should have an intact coating and a mild and slightly nutty flavor.
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