Okay, so in last Thursday's post I touched on some of the benefits of chia seeds. Well I love these little superfood seeds so much, I thought it would be great to write about those benefits a little more in-depth.
Let's start with a list shall we?
- They balance your blood sugar - The gel that Chia forms can slow digestion and help to balance blood sugar levels.
- They Energize you - There is no insulin spike needed to lower your blood sugar level after eating Chia. This is because the gel that they create when mixed with water or liquid helps to digest carbohydrates at a slow and uniform rate. That means fewer energy crashes and cravings for refined or sugary foods.
- Omega 3s & Weight Loss - They have more omega 3's than Atlantic salmon does and contain more than 60% of the essential fatty acid in one serving. We need those healthy fats in order for our bodies to stay lean and believe or not, these fats will also help you lose weight. Yep, that's right. Fat is not the enemy (unless its hydrogenated or trans fats were talkin' about). This is because they aid in balancing key hormones such as cortisol and insulin that exert tremendous control over your weight. Omega 3's are also a great way to improving your immune system.
- More fiber than your bran cereal - depending on the brand you choose, 2 tablespoons will give you about 7 grams of fiber! Don't forget to drink water though. Since these little seeds absorb so much of it you want to keep things moving in the right direction. This will also help to reduce blood cholesterol and keep you feel satiated longer.
- Calcium & Protein - Drum roll please......15% of your daily calcium intake in a single serving, which is 200 mg! That's just over 1/3 of the amount that's in a glass of skim milk. It also has 4 grams of protein. It is one of the most complete plant based proteins out there. Great news for vegetarians!
They contain more calcium, protein and fiber than flax seeds. Plus they do not need to be ground up to reap their benefits, which adds some nice fast convenience. Chia seeds are also naturally gluten free.
I should also mention that they are very high in antioxidants including vitamin C and E, minerals magnesium and potassium, and vitamin B, which are essential for good health. They are full of cleansing and hydrating properties that hydrate you from the inside out. Ancient Mayans and Aztec warriors would cross the dessert for days at a time, keeping chia seeds under their tongues to prevent dehydration.
What would a serving be?
A typical serving would be 2 tablespoons a day. That would give you 100% of your omega 3's per day.
Is there any difference between black and white chia seeds?
I've been wondering this for a while myself and after a little internet digging I found that there really is no major difference between the two. There seems to be a consensus that the white ones are higher in nutrition, but it appears to be a myth.
Where can I buy them?
You can find them at your local health food or grocery store. For the Canadians out there I usually like to buy my chia seeds at the Bulk Barn. It's just a little cheaper to buy in bulk. You can also purchase Bob's Red Mill chia seeds online here for a good price. I also like Prana's organic raw chia seeds which you can also buy online.
What is the shelf life of chia seeds?
They will last for up to 5 years when you store them in a cool, dry place.
Sounds too good to be true right?
Here's the nutrition profile for Prana Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds don't have any strong flavour so they blend well with almost any food. That's the great thing about chia!
Have you tried chia seeds before? What is your favourite way to use them?