Monday, May 19, 2014

Have You Tried Chia Seeds?

I know I have mentioned these little guys before, but I thought I would dedicate an entire post to them because they are just THAT good for you.  I absolutely love chia seeds on my yogurt bowls and in my oatmeal.  I always soak them for about 10-20 minutes in water first because they acquire a gooey spongy texture, often referred to as “chia gel.”  I know it sounds weird, but trust me on this - they are kind of like mini boba tea balls, if any of you were ever into that stuff.

Here are some of the health benefits:
  1. Reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. While they're easily digestible, they work to create a feeling of fullness, keeping you satisfied for longer while also helping you maintain a healthy appetite. To really benefit from their all-round goodness, eat them at the start of your day.
  2. Hydration for athletes: They are also great for athletes because the "chia gel" helps to hydrate the body.
  3. Reduce your blood pressure: There's evidence to suggest they can reduce blood pressure.
  4. Omega-3: They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease). In fact, they contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
  5. Benefits for diabetes: Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
  6. They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don't need to be ground up.
  7. They help build muscle: With their ample energy-boosting benefits, high fiber, perfect digestible protein for muscle, and tissue regeneration, chia is the perfect fuel food for fast energy and quick muscle growth.

I add them as a topping to my yogurt bowls, overnight oats, and even drop them into smoothie and muffin recipes for some added nutrients.

More fun facts:
  • 5 times the amount of calcium that milk has.
  • 3 times the amount of antioxidants that blueberries have.
  • 3 times the amount of iron in spinach.
  • 2 times the amount of fiber in oatmeal.
  • 2 times the amount of protein of any other bean, seed or grain.
  • 2 times the amount of potassium in a banana.

Anyone else have good chia seed recipes?  If so, please share!

Who is convinced to give them a try?

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