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Chia seeds are one of the healthiest and nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with essential nutrients that have significant benefits for our body and brain. It comes from the desert plant ‘Salvia hispanica’ which has been grown in Mexico back to Mayan and Aztec cultures.
In these cultures, chia seed was used as an energy booster as they are a concentrated, complex food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbs, proteins, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium plus vitamins and minerals.
The subtle, nutty taste of chia seeds makes them easy to mix with different foods; sweet and savory and beverages. Most often, they are mixed with cereals, used in sauces, with vegetables, yogurt, and baked goods. You can also mix it with water to make it into a gel and then use it in different DIYs.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, which helps in satiety or feeling of fullness. 1 ounce (about 2 tbsp.) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Keeping the calorie count in mind, they should be consumed accordingly.
The most popular way of eating chia seeds is to make chia pudding, and it is quickly done by mixing ¼ cup of seeds in a cup of liquid, either almond or coconut milk, or any fruit juice of your liking.
The pudding is ready when the seeds bloat up and get into a gel consistency. You can also add dry chia seeds in salads or smoothies. However, they are pretty much tasteless, so add fruits, nuts, or any topping that you enjoy.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
1.) Aids in Weight Loss by Feeling Fuller
Many health and fitness experts recommend chia seeds for weight loss. Its soluble fiber expands in your stomach by absorbing water, thus giving you that feeling of fullness and curbs your cravings.
This reduces the number of calories one consumes during a day hence a useful diet helper. But to be significantly effective, one needs to change their lifestyle and poor eating habits and add regular exercise and proper sleeping patterns. Only then chia seeds can help you achieve your desired weight goal.
2.) Keeps you hydrated
Chia seeds can absorb lots of water. As a result, it helps the body regulate fluid and retain electrolytes, which helps you stay hydrated.
3.) Reduces blood pressure
Research shows that chia seeds considerably lower blood pressure in people with hypertension that leads to having a stroke and many heart diseases. Then again, chia seeds can only benefit in heart diseases if other beneficial dietary and lifestyle changes are incorporated with it.
4.) High in Omega-3
Chia seeds are the richest plant source of Omega-3, even one gram of salmon has less omega 3 fatty acids than one gram of chia seeds. It’s an essential fat as it protects against inflammations and heart disease.
5.) Reduces Blood Sugar level
Chia seeds slow down the process of converting carbohydrates into simple sugars, shows that they can control blood sugar in our body. Consistently high blood sugar levels are linked to several chronic diseases, as well as heart disease. Several studies indicate that chia seeds might help in improving insulin sensitivity and stabilizes blood sugar level meals.
How to use Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an exceedingly versatile ingredient for any dish as they have little to no distinct taste; they can be used in any number of recipes without competing with other flavors of the dish.
Usually, they are added to cereals, beverages, loaves of bread, and other baked goods to increase their nutritional value, or you can sprinkle a few teaspoons into salads, salad dressings, sauces, soups, or stews.
Chia seeds absorb water up to three times their weight in liquid. Just put ¼ cup seeds in 1 cup liquid and cover it. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes until the consistency becomes like gelatin. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to one week. Add it to smoothies and soups to generate a thicker, more satiating consistency.
Use it as a dessert alternative if you are trying to lose weight by mixing ¼ cup of seeds with one cup of liquid such as almond or soy milk, soy, or any fruit juice. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. For more flavor, you can add nuts, fresh fruit, or cinnamon.
Whip up a Chia Jam
Highly-processed, sugar-filled jams should be avoided; instead, you can make your own better version of jam at home. All you have to do is mash up your favorite juicy fruit and mix it with 1 tbsp. Chia seeds. Since chia seeds turn into a jelly-like matter, you will get nothing but an excellent, nutritious, and yummy jam for your breakfast.
Make a Chia drink
Want a super healthy tea; mix it in your next cup. Add about 1 tablespoon into 16 fluid ounces of tea. It doesn’t matter if you like it hot or cold; the texture brings a new experience with many health benefits.
Vegan but don’t know how to stay away from eggs in recipes. Chia seeds have the perfect texture of the eggs, and they can be easily replaceable. To make one chia seed egg, mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with 4-6 tablespoons of water, let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. You can replace one regular egg with one of these chia seed eggs to get the same consistency in your baked items or recipes.
Where to Buy Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be bought at your local big-box stores such as Walmart or Target, local health food stores, or you can buy them online on sites such as Amazon.
Final Thoughts on Chia Seeds
Overall, enjoy chia seeds for its nutritious and health benefits. But if you are expecting a significant weight loss just by consuming chia seeds, then leave that hope now cause nothing works alone, you need exercise and healthy eating habits too.
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.