Chia seeds are tiny little round seeds that can be added to practically anything. They are a superfood that have no taste. You can put them in water, add them to milk, drink them in a smoothie, eat them in your cereal, sprinkle them in your oatmeal, dump them on your potatoes, or even toss them in your eggs. How to eat and what to eat them with is endless.
Chia is also excellent for children! It is one of those stealthy foods you can sneak into their meals. My daughter is a picky eater, and she never knows when I put them in her food.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Highly nutritious because of the many nutrients it has per tablespoon serving.
- Loaded with antioxidants to help protect your body from damage.
- May support weight loss by making you feel full.
- May lower your risk of heart disease because chia is an anti-inflammatory.
- Contain many essential nutrients like calcium to support bone health.
- May reduce and regulate blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes.
- Easy to incorporate into your diet and add to any foods you eat.
All you need is two tablespoons a day! So, if you want to supercharge your energy and health, add chia seeds to your diet’s daily staple.
Here are nutritional facts for chia seeds for two tablespoons (about one oz. or 28.35 grams).
Chia is great for many of its nutrients. But here are a few that make chia stand out and have a powerful impact on enhancing and boosting your health.
The total fiber content and consistency of chia seeds are about 80%, so two tablespoons are very high for fiber. Since you need 20-30 grams of fiber a day, you are just about halfway there.
Chia seeds are mainly soluble fiber. They are surrounded by a gel-like substance that, when mixed with liquid, swell; the reason they can make you feel full and help you eat less. Soluble fiber is also great because it regulates blood sugar, makes insulin more responsive and sensitive, lowers your LDL bad cholesterol, and protects your colon from cancer by cleaning the intestinal walls.
The other part of chia seeds is insoluble fiber. Insoluble simply means it does not dissolve in water or liquids in your stomach. Instead, it passes through the digestive tract to soften your stool for easy elimination. Insoluble fiber helps produce and promote regular and healthy bowel movements. They also prevent disease.
Chia packs a huge powerful punch of magnesium. Women need 310-320mg, and men need 400-410mg daily. And for athletes, 500mg is more beneficial. Magnesium is a vital electrolyte. It is used in more than 300 functions of the body. Its essential functions are regulating the heart to beat, the nervous system, and helping muscles relax and rebuild.
One of the good things about chia seeds, I would say the best, is they contain potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. These four electrolytes are all interdependent and need to interact together in the body to optimize electrolyte function. Therefore, it is essential to have them all present together.
When selenium, magnesium, and calcium are present together, they dramatically enhance the antioxidant process, boosting the immune system’s power to fight disease. You need about 350-400mcg of selenium each day. However, although the selenium total is not so high, the trifecta of magnesium and calcium with selenium is even better!
PUFA is not some Italian name for a pillow. It means Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid. This is chia’s real power. You only need 5-10% PUFA’s a day. Based on a 2000-calorie diet, you would only need 10-20g. So, if you eat two tablespoons of chia, you will have reached your RDA. Incredible!
PUFAs are what protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer because they are antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They increase HDLs and lower LDL cholesterol. PUFA also maintains blood sugar, increases insulin sensitivity, and reduces pro-inflammatory effects associated with cancer.
Seeds and nuts are high in ALA (Alpha-Linoleic-Acid). ALA needs to be converted to EPA and DHA, and only about 10% of the ALA you eat from nuts and seeds gets converted to EPA and DHA. It is low but perfect for vegans and those who don’t eat fish. About 5-7% is converted to EPA and about 1-3% DHA. The DHA in fish does not need to be converted and is readily absorbed and supplies more than half of your RDA in one piece of fish. However, you need not worry. ALA still packs a ton of prevention. So, just because only 10% gets converted, ALA on its own still helps prevent disease.
Chia is a simple food you can eat that does not require extra work or preparation. You can’t be picky about the taste because they are tasteless, so there is no excuse not to eat them.
Buy them, take a spoon, scoop and sprinkle. It can’t become easier than that.
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