These days chia seeds are extremely popular thanks to its omega-3 fatty acid and protein content. What’s more, this superfood is also a great way to consume plant-based calcium. I add them to my green smoothies almost every single day. If you have not tried them yet, I will try to convince you to do so in this article.
So What Are Chia Seeds Exactly?
Well, even though the rest of the world has only recently discovered this very wholesome ingredient, natives from Mexico have been enjoying it for years! You might not have eaten it before, but chances are good that you have heard about this plant that’s native to certain parts in Mexico and Guatamala.
As little as one ounce boasts more than 4 grams of protein (including all the essential amino acids), about 8 grams of fat (most of which are omega-3 essential fatty acids) and over 10 grams of fiber.
On top of that, for every ounce of chia seeds consumed you get about 20% of your recommended daily calcium and magnesium allowance and more than a third of your recommended daily allowance of manganese and phosphorus. It also boasts some zinc, but not nearly as much.
A Few Of Its Health Benefits
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants that offer protection against diseases as well as boosts your health. If you want to lose weight, I also recommend you include chia seeds in your daily diet. Though, don’t get me wrong, they are not some sort of magical solution, but the protein and fiber can help. The fiber adds more bulk to your smoothies without adding any extra calories, while the protein means you will not get so hungry as quickly.
Some research has indicated that chia seeds can have a good influence on your cholestrol. However, at this stage the data is still up for dispute, but it probably has the same effect on cholestrol than most fruit, veggies, seeds and nuts boast.
Not enough data has been gathered yet, but some research has shown that it can have a good effect on your high blood pressure.
These seeds are loaded with calcium, phosphorus and magnesium which play an important role in strengthening your bones.
Helps With Digestion And Colon Or Gut Issues
As it has about 40% fiber, it boosts your colon health by ensuring that you get enough good bacteria in your gut. Plus, if you enjoy a diet that is rich in fiber, your chances for developing colon cancer get reduced.
Digestion Of Protein
This has to be one of its most popular perks. The protein content found in ground chia seeds offer some of the protein contents that your body can digest the easiest.
What About Possible Drawbacks?
Chia seeds do not really have any cons. I mean, for over a thousand years, people have been including it in their diets.
Though, if you battle with hormonal imbalances, chia seeds might pose one issue.
Chia seeds (just like flaxseeds) have a type of phytoestrogens known as lignans. So, men who stuggle with high estrogen levels or low testosterone levels as well as women who battle with above-normal estrogen levels should monitor closely how much chia seeds they eat. If you do not battle with hormonal imbalances, you can rest assured as no clinical proof shows that just because you eat chia seeds in moderation, your hormones will become out of balance.
How To Add Chia Seeds To Your Green Smoothies
Chia seeds have a subtle nutty taste. When you add about a tablespoon to your smoothie, the flavor will still be great.
You can either soak your chia seeds in water for approximately five minutes or you can use ground chia seeds. If you decide to soak it in water, I recommend you use one part seed and three parts water. I would recommend that you soak it instead as this way you can enjoy chia as a wholefood (less chance of oxidation taking place) and it is easier to digest.
Though, if you opt to use ground chia seeds, you will have to add about an additional ounce of water (or almond milk) as these seeds love to absorb liquid. Forget to add the extra liquid and you will be enjoying a jelly instead of a smoothie.
How Should I Store My Chia Seeds?
Just like with any other seeds or nuts, you need to keep chia seeds somewhere that’s cool and dry. I suggest you pop it in the fridge so that they do not become rancid so quickly.
Do not use chia seeds that have been grounded or soaked more than 24hours ago. Apart from not being as nutritious, these could have spoilt.
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