You might have heard about chia seeds and how they’re a superfood that you should include in your diet, but what’s so great about them? Are they really as healthy as some people say they are? And how do you eat them, exactly? Read on to learn about chia seeds and how they’re good for you.
1. Chia seeds are a great source of protein.
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. And if you’re trying to lose weight, protein is even more vital because it helps reduce appetite and cravings. Chia seeds are very high in protein for a plant source, so it is a great option for people who don’t eat much meat or other animal products.
2. Chia seeds can replace eggs in some recipes.
When dry, chia seeds look like poppy seed, but soak them in liquid for at least 15 minutes and they’ll turn into something that resembles gelatin. This unique physical feature makes chia seed a great egg replacer for vegan recipes and a thickening agent for smoothies, puddings, and jams instead of sugar.
3. Chia seeds are very nutritious for only a few calories.
Chia seeds only have 138 calories per oz, which is low when you consider how dense they are with nutrients. In one serving, chia seeds have 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. You’ll also get zinc, vitamin B3, potassium, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2 when you consume one serving of chia seeds.
These seeds are also filled with antioxidants, which are great for your body but also helps them last so long in your pantry before going rancid. When stored correctly, they can last up to two years!
4. Chia seeds are good for bone health.
One serving of chia seeds gives you 18 percent of the daily requirement of calcium, 30 percent of magnesium, and 27 percent of phosphorus. These nutrients, along with protein, are excellent for bone health, making chia seeds a great option for people who don’t eat dairy. Actually, those that do eat dairy might still benefit from eating chia seeds, since these seeds contain more calcium per gram than most dairy products.
5. Chia seeds have been shown to lower blood pressure.
A study was done on patients with type 2 diabetics to evaluate whether chia seeds could improve the patients’ health. At the end of the study, it was shown that the patients’ blood pressure went down significantly. If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, it might be a good idea to try including chia seeds in your diet.
6. There is not enough evidence that chia seeds can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Even though chia seeds have been shown in research to lower blood pressure, that doesn’t mean that they can also improve your health in other areas. Some people claim that chia seeds can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels, but there haven’t been any studies that show that to be true.
However, there are generally not much scientific studies on natural remedies, so a lack of proof in research doesn’t mean that chia seeds won’t improve your health. As long as it’s safe for you to consume, you can try adding it to your diet and see how it helps you.
7. You can eat chia seeds whole or ground.
Chia seeds have a lot in common with flaxseed, which became very popular a few years ago. However, to receive the health benefits of flaxseed, it must be ground. Chia seeds, on the other hand, do not have to be ground. It’s much easier to just throw in whole seeds of chia seeds into your food without having to ground them like you would have to with flaxseed.
8. Not all chia seeds are created equal.
Just because the label says it’s chia seed doesn’t mean you should buy it. Red chia seeds are immature seeds, while very small black seeds are actually weed seeds. Stick with the white seeds or black seeds that aren’t so small. Compare brands and reviews to choose the best chia seed you can buy.
9. Two daily doses of 20 grams are recommended.
So now you know that chia seeds are good for you, how much of them should you eat daily? It’s recommended to eat 20 grams of chia seed twice daily. That amounts to almost two tablespoons per dose. You could add a tablespoon to a salad and another tablespoon to a smoothie, for example, to meet your daily dose.
10. If you have food allergies or you’re taking blood pressure medication or blood thinners, talk to your doctor before you try chia seeds.
As always, check with your doctor before trying a new addition to your diet. It’s even more important to talk with your doctor if you’re allergic to mustard seed or sesame seeds. Also, if you’re taking blood pressure medication or blood thinners and want to try to reduce your blood pressure by consuming chia seeds, call your doctor first.
Are you ready to try chia seeds? You could start with this smoothie and see how you like it. If you love pudding and creamy breakfast cereals, you’ll especially enjoy experimenting with chia seeds.
Do you include chia seeds in your daily diet? How do you add it to your food?