Maintaining your overall health and wellbeing is a holistic process which involves physical practice, such as yoga, mental practice such as meditation, and of course, good eating habits!
I’ve recently started to incorporate chia seeds in to my diet, sprinkling it over nearly everything, including my morning smoothies before yoga practice and adding it to my water throughout the day. I’ve even used them as part of my toddler’s diet, adding them to his morning oats; chia seeds are relatively tasteless, so luckily this addition did not bother him at all.
If you want to give your diet an overhaul and you are looking of ways to incorporate nutritious seeds and nuts then here’s five reasons why you should be adding chia seeds to your daily meals.
5 Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds:
1. It’s High in Minerals
“Don’t be fooled by the size… these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch” writes Kris on Authority Nutrition.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
- Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
This is particularly impressive when you consider that this is just a single ounce, which supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate!
Just so that we’re all on the same page, 1 ounce equals 28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons.
Interestingly… if you subtract the fiber, which may not end up as usable calories for the body, chia seeds only contain 101 calories per ounce.
This makes them one of the world’s best sources of several important nutrients, calorie for calorie.
To top things off, chia seeds are a “whole grain” food, are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten.
2. They are a great replacement for eggs
Chia seeds are a great addition to a vegan diet because it makes a great substitute for eggs. When you mix them with liquids, the outlet layer of chia seeds swells and forms a gel, simulating the same consistency as eggs.
Even if you are not a vegan, replacing eggs with chia seeds is much healthier and reduces the levels of cholesterol in your food and increase its overall nutritional content significantly.
Making chia seeds as an egg replacement is simple! All you do is mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with every three tablespoons of water and then let it sit for 15 minutes.
3. It’s High in Fiber
Chia seeds are high in fiber and contain a massive 10 grams in only two tablespoons and you only need a third of 2 tablespoons daily! Fiber is essential to a healthy body as it balances the insulin levels. The high fiber content in chia seeds also helps promote healthy bowel movement and prevent chronic diseases.
As a bonus, chia seeds can also work as probiotic and supports the growth of probiotics in the gut. This is due to the gelatin-like substance that chia seeds transform into when in the stomach.
4. It can help you lose weight
Adding chia seeds to your daily diet can help you lose those extra pounds! Thanks to its high protein content, fiber and its natural gelling action, chia seeds helps people feel full quicker and for longer. When you ingest them, the seeds absorb a considerable amount of water from the body and immediately expand, curbing hunger for a considerable amount of time.
However, it’s also important to note that eating chia seeds alone will not help you to lose weight. It’s a great addition if you are already on a healthy diet but will not work if you don’t change your eating habits to more wholesome and nourishing ones.
5. It can improve anxiety problems
Chia seeds are rich in healthy fatty acids. They are specifically rich in omega-3 fatty acids as its lipid profile consist of 60% omega-3. We require a good dose of this fatty acid to ensure a healthy metal and physical state, but our bodies cannot produce these fatty acids itself. An important benefit of omega-3 is its role in curbing anxiety and depression. This is because the brain consists of 60% fat which affect the way people think, concentrate and remember. Of the different types of fats that are within the brain, omega-3 is one of them and is considered a good fat because it is beneficial to the brain.
Omega 3 is usually found in fish, plants and nuts. For vegetarians, chia seeds make a good alternative to fish. A small serving of chia seeds has two tablespoons of omega 3 fatty acids, and this is the equivalent of four ounces of salmon!