Lately, it seems as though new ‘miracle’ foods or supplements are popping up all over the place.
Some of these seem pretty far-fetched in what they claim to do, but there is one that has managed to garner a great deal of attention, especially considering how small it is.
Chia seeds. Those strange, little, multi-colored granules that everyone seems to be raving about, but not many seem to know the true health benefits are, let alone what to do with them once you've gone out and purchased your first bag.
So what are some of the health benefits?
- Chia seeds are unbelievably rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, they are among the richest in the plant based sources for these acids. These little unassuming seeds can help you prevent inflammation from arthritis and heart disease.
- Evidence shows that ingesting chia seeds can lower blood pressure.
- They help you feel fuller, faster. One of the amazing properties of these seeds is that they are able to absorb 10 times their normal weight in water, which creates a gel like substance that helps you feel fuller.
- Aid in weight loss. Because of their abilities to absorb water, not only to they help you feel full, they also block some calories from being absorbed into your system.
- Great for diabetics. Studies have indicated that consumption of chia seeds can aid in controlling blood sugar levels. They are able to do this because of their ability to slow the body’s conversion of carbs into sugars.
- Easier to digest than flax seeds. There is no reason to grind up chia seeds like you have to with flax, so your body is able to process them far easier than it does flax. Not to mention you recieve the full nutritional benefit from eating the whole seed as opposed to having to grind up the exterior as you do with flax.
- Athletic hydration. The gel that is formed when the chia seeds absorb water is used by the body for hydration, making the consumption of these little powerhouses helpful for people with active lifestyles.
Now that you know about some of the health benefits, one question is left unanswered what can you actually do with these?
Chia seeds can be used in a surprising number of recipes, making them a rather versatile addition to your kitchen. They are able to be used as substitutions for a variety of foods.
They can be added to…
- warmed milk for oat-free oatmeal
- your yogurt snack
- salads and salad dressing
- your post-run smoothie for a healthy boost
- soups and stew as a thickener
- cookies and breads
- warmed milk as a sub for oatmeal
- your nut butter and jelly sandwich
- kale chips! Just sprinkle some on top before baking and enjoy
And so much more! Experiment with these little guys and see what kinds of fun, new, and healthy recipes you can come up with!