Chia seed burst onto the superfood scene, and it’s star power isn’t close to fizzling out. With an impressive nutritional resume, chia will no doubt win over the hearts, minds, mouths and bodies of fitness fanatics everywhere. Here are a few of its many benefits:
1. Weight Loss/Management. With almost 10 grams of fiber per ounce, chia seeds will help you to feel fuller longer. With your hunger at bay, you can be more successful with your weight loss/weight management goals.
2. Blood Sugar Stabilization. The high fiber content also helps to slow the absorption of sugars into the blood stream, which keeps your energy stable, your insulin in check and your fat burning potential optimized.
3. Helps Digestion. Thanks to the high fiber content, chia supports regular elimination and helps to prevent diverticulitis.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acid Infusion. Chia seeds are the richest plant-source of this healthy oil, which helps to prevent inflammation and is a coadjutant in the process of losing weight.
5. Promote Brain Health. The omega fatty acids (DHA/EPA) content play an important role in brain health and preventing/alleviating depression.
6. Anti-aging and Antioxidant Properties. Antioxidants present in seeds fight free radicals (a contributor of aging), boost your immune system and can help prevent some cancers.
7. High Minerals Content. These seeds are a great source of minerals critical for optimal health: calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron.
8. Easy to Eat. Chia are so easy to incorporate into your nutritional plan. They can be eaten raw, cooked or ground as a flour and baked. They work very well mixed into puddings or fruit drinks.
9. Bake With Less Fat. You can substitute half of the oil called for in a recipe with chia gel to decrease the fat and increase the fiber of the recipe. To make a gel, add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid and whisk them together. Let it sit for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure the seeds don’t clump at the bottom of the bowl.
10. Great Source of Energy. Chia seeds have complex carbohydrates, which break down very slowly providing a sustained source of energy.
These seeds have amazing properties, but also have some potential side effects. Due to the high fiber content, gigestive disturbances (gas, bloating, etc.) can occur if it is over-consumed or in individuals with preexisting issues. You should start off with 1 tablespoon a day and work up to 2 tablespoons. It can interact with some medications related to blood pressure and blood thinning, and there are some individuals who are allergic to chia. If you are concerned about any of these side effects, check with your doctor or nutritionist before you incorporate this super seed.