Chia Seeds: Health Benefits and How to Use Them

Chia seeds: the newest addition to the superfood surge. This is probably my favorite out of all the supplements I use or have used. It is SO easy to use and the health benefits are truly amazing (as researched and from my own experience!).

Image

So what exactly do they do and why should you add them to your lifestyle?

If you are trying to lose weight (the healthy way), then these are for you. The seeds have an outer layer that absorbs liquid, and turns into a sort of gel. So when you eat chia seeds, although they may look small and insignificant, they are extremely filling! Thus, these miracle seeds will keep you full (and I know that my insatiable black hole of a stomach is the number one reason I tend to eat more than I should…).

Chia gel, observe the pudding-like qualities!

Chia gel, observe the pudding-like qualities!

Feed your body Omega-3 fatty acid, and it will thank you! Seriously, it will. Mine did. In a nutshell, your body needs healthy fats. Healthy fats help to reduce inflammation, prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, increase long lasting energy, makes your skin beautiful, and especially help increase proper brain functioning (psych nerds read: myelin sheaths — HELLO!). In my experience, eating foods with healthy fats has actually helped me get rid of bad fats! Like, I have seen a difference in my appearance the very next day, no lie.

Lots of fiber in a tiny package! The soluble and insoluble (digestible) fibers in chia seeds help regulate your blood sugar levels, keeping them steady throughout the day. Meaning you will have prolonged energy rather than spikes and drops (typically associated with sweets and simple carbs). This also helps prevent diabetes. And regulate digestion.

Complete proteins. Complete proteins, vs incomplete from foods like beans and nuts, include ALL the essential amino acids that your body needs to function. It is important to have COMPLETE proteins, and by that meaning all 8 proteins adults must take in from the food they eat. Without all of these proteins, we become malnourished, our immune systems suffer, we age more rapidly, and our brain functioning declines. Many popular diet fads lead to improper intake of proteins 😦 And you cannot make up for this by just taking supplements. Just eat chia seeds (along with other healthy foods) and you will get them all!

High antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals. Free radicals are basically highly reactive molecules that cause harm to our basic body functions. This can cause cell death or damage. I know, it’s scary to think about. BUT! If we eat foods high in antioxidants, we fight those radical jerks. Just know that your body cannot make antioxidants without your help in giving it the nutrients it needs! Chia seeds contain quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid.

Honestly, I was immediately drawn to using chia seeds because of how incredibly easy they are to use.

For people like me who love sweets and desserts (also one of my major downfalls…), you will need to try chia seed pudding. I know…. it sounds weird and I was skeptical. But I promise you, it is actually really good, and even my picky-anti-health-freak-veggie-hater-steak-and-potatoes-only boyfriend liked it. He snuck back to the fridge for more, and then he ate it for breakfast the next morning. Skinnytaste.com (one of my serious favorites) has a recipe.

Go try this recipe!

Go try this recipe!

You can also use them in a variety of other ways: Add a spoonful or a few to your smoothies, sprinkle on any dish (salads, oatmeal, cereal, etc), and apparently you can use in baking but I haven’t tried it yet! Please let me know your favorite way to use them and any recipes you come up with!

Sources:

http://www.realrawfood.com/chia-seeds-10-benefits

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

http://nutritionwonderland.com/2009/07/understanding-our-bodies-amino-acids/

http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/antiox.html

http://www.chialive.com.au/Chia-Antioxidants.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s