Thursday, 24 October 2013

Chia Seeds

Over the past few years there has been an increased interest in chia seeds (amongst other seeds). Someone asked me the other day about what they are and what they do. I realised I didn't really know the ins and outs of these little guys very well either so after a bit of research this is what I have come up with.

They are small black or white oval seeds. They can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. Some examples of what they can be added to are salads, smoothies, sandwiches, ground up and used to thicken soups just to list a few. 

What are the benefits?
  •  They are rich in essential fatty acids which are beneficial for cardiovascular and neural health.
  • Chia seeds can help regulate blood sugar levels. This is done by the seeds absorbing liquid in the stomach to form a gel. This gel slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream. The regulating properties of chia seeds is particularly good for diabetics. 
  • The ability for the chia seeds to form a gel in the stomach also makes you feel full faster. This is the result of the soluble fibre and is an added bonus for anyone trying to lose weight.
  • The soluble fibre found in chia seeds also helps with digestion.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids can be found in chia seeds. They are important for your heart and absorption of other vitamins.
  • The seeds contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which all help to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy.
  • Chia seeds are very absorbent and when mixed with water can make a gel to be used as a healthy substitute for certain oils.
  • They help you to stay hydrated and to retain electrolytes for longer because they absorb and hold on to liquid in the stomach.
In my opinion introducing chia seeds to your diet would be beneficial for your body. It is important to remember that chia seeds are not a cure for illness or a body transformation miracle worker, incorporating chia seeds into your dishes is simply a step you can take to improving your health.
After my research I am excited to give them a go.
Have you tried chia seeds before? Are you now convinced to try them? What is your favourite way to use chia seeds?

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