If you’re old enough, you might remember the Chia Pets commercials from the 80’s, where small clay figures in the shape of various animals grew Chia sprouts to resemble their fur. They were a huge hit and sold hundreds of thousands annually. For those still not familiar with Chia seeds, we’ll break down why you should start incorporating this tiny superfood into your diet.
Because the seeds have no taste, they can be added to pretty much anything. By sprinkling them onto cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or a salad, you can enhance your nutritional intake of calcium, phosphorus, manganese and omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies have shown that the seeds can help lower blood pressure and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. When exposed to liquid, the seeds develop a gelatinous coating which may help with blood sugar spikes. Because the seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, they can help make you feel more full which could lead to possible weight loss. Chia seeds also contain tryptophan, an amino acid most associated with wanting to take a nap after a big meal, which helps regulate appetite and sleep. The seeds come in 2 colors, black and white with the darker variety having more antioxidants.
1 ounce of chia contains:
Omega-3 fatty acids: 4-5 grams – important for heart health and improving cholesterol
Fiber: 11 grams (1/3 of the RDA) – important for digestive health
Protein: 4 grams – 10% of the RDA
Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s)
Calcium: 18% of the RDA – important for maintaining bone and dental health
Manganese: 30% of the RDA – important for bone heal and nutrient absorption
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA
Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA – important for maintaining bone and dental health
It also contains Zinc, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, antioxidants, and fiber.
How do you incorporate chia seeds in your diet? Let us know your suggestions by adding them in the comments section.