Chia Seed benefits
Rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals – Chia Seeds (salvia hispanica) are a true superfood! Mayan and Incan warriors called them “warrior food”. They are more energising than Gatorade or other energy drinks and the highest available plant- based source of protein (along with spirulina) on the planet!
Look at all the goodness they contain:
- Dietary fiber (11g – 42% RDV recommended daily value)
- Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (4915 mg)
- Omega-6 fatty acids (1620 mg)
- Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
- Copper (0.1 mg – 3% RDV)
- Phosphorus (265 mg – 27% RDV)
- Potassium (44.8 mg – 1% RDV)
- Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV)
Chia Seeds also contain the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine. And as if that list wasn’t good enough they are also a a rich source of anti-oxidants.
All this high quality nutrition seriously benefits our bodies in many ways:
Your Skin and ageing
Just recently it was discovered that Chia Seeds have an antioxidant concentration twice as high as previously believed – that puts the Chia Seed first as nature’s richest source of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent damage to the skin and speed up it’s repair systems. So if you want to prevent premature skin ageing Chia Seeds should be your best friends!.
A heathy heart
Chia Seeds are extremely beneficial to your heart. To start with, a regular consumer would be far less likely to develop atherosclerosis as this magical little seed reverses oxidative stress. Reversing inflammation, regulating cholesterol and lowering blood pressure are the potent benefits that every heart should have! This little seed has more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega-3s lower the levels bad cholesterol in your blood and help to lower blood pressure and inflammation.
Great for digestion
As Chia Seeds have stacks of dietary fiber (almost 11 grams per ounce) just one serving is enough for your daily recommended intake! We all know that dietary fiber helps us to have healthy bowel movements. They will also make you feel full as they expand in the stomach as soon as they are eaten – which gives us another great benefit: curbing the appetite which could lead to weight loss (proven in clinical studies). Chia seeds also support the growth of beneficial gut flora.
Chia Seeds are energising
According to a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Chia Seeds are more energising than actual energy drinks, and without all the sugar! Your Metabolism will be boosted with a serving of Chia Seeds and you’ll have lots more energy!
The list of benefits is endless – including:
- Helping to strengthen you bones – just one ounce of these seeds gives you a whopping 18% of your daily calcium intake, a mineral that is findamental for bone strength and mass.
- Helping your teeth to stay healthy due to their calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and zinc content
- More muscle and less fat – because Chia Seeds have such a high plant-based protein content they are fantastic for those of us trying to put on lean muscle
- Help to treat diabetes – due to their high content of alpha-linolenic acid and fiber, chia seeds can help prevent metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia (excessive fat in the blood) and insulin resistance, two factors in the development of diabetes.
You must now be convinced that you have to include more chia seeds in your diet! Here are 6 delicious recipes – our favourites from around the web – to get you started:
Blueberry-Chia Smoothie (courtesy of Bon Appétit)
Also delicious with frozen strawberries or mangoes instead of the pineapple, and with orange juice or any other nut milk for the liquid.
(Makes about 2 Cups)
- 1 large banana, cut into 1-inch pieces, frozen
- ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut water or unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed oil (optional)
Plop everything into the blender – whizz it up and enjoy!
Seedy Oat Crackers
Recipe by Anna Jones
Photograph by Alex Lau
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375°. Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir oil, maple syrup, and ¾ cup room-temperature water in a medium bowl to combine. Pour liquid over oat mixture and toss until mixture is completely soaked. Let sit 10 minutes; mixture will absorb water and thicken.
- Form oat mixture into a ball and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press a second sheet of parchment paper directly on top and, using a rolling pin, flatten to ⅛” thick (the shape doesn’t matter). Remove top layer of parchment.
- Bake crackers until golden brown around edges, 15–20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully turn out, parchment side up. Place a fresh sheet of parchment on baking sheet. Remove parchment from cracker, carefully turn cracker over, and return to baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown around edges, 15–20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet, then break into pieces with your hands.
Do Ahead: Crackers can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
These chia oatmeal breakfast cookies are flourless so the texture is chewy and similar to baked oatmeal. They’re healthy, portable and delicious! Recipe by Brittany Mullins
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chunks or carob chips
- 1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
- large pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a small bowl, stir together the chia seeds and almond milk and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until the chia seeds have created a nice gel-like consistency.
- Pour the chia seed gel into a medium sized mixing bowl and add in the mashed bananas, oats, coconut, almond butter and cinnamon until well combined.
- Gently stir in the dates and chocolate chunks.
- Scoop out dough (about 1-2 tablespoons worth) onto a baking stone or a greased cookie sheet and use a fork to press the dough down a little to make more of a cookie shape. You should get about 15 cookies.
- Place in oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies have browned a tiny bit.
- Take them out, let cool and enjoy.
Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding Pops
Makes 4 popsicles (from Skinnytaste.com)
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 cup raspberries
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
- 8 drops Nu-Naturals liquid stevia (or sugar/honey to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Mix well and close container; refrigerate 4 hours so the chia expands. Pour into 4 popsicle molds and freeze overnight.
Sticky Chia Brown Rice with Sunny-Side-Up Egg Recipe
Recipe by Janie Hoffman for MammaChia.com.
This recipe is best made with leftover rice (freshly made rice tends to become too mushy), so nothing in your fridge will go to waste. Serve it up with a sunny-side-up egg, break the yolk, and dig in!
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 green onion, sliced on diagonal, green and white parts separated
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon black or white chia seeds
- 2 cups cooked, chilled short-grain brown rice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
- In a small saucepan, stir together the broth, white parts of green onion, and 2 tablespoon of the chia seeds and let stand for about 20 minutes. (Makes about 2/3 cup green onion-chia gel.)
- Bring the green onion-chia gel to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and stir for about 30 seconds. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until rice is steaming hot and has a sticky consistency, about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a nonstick (PFOA-free) skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook until desired doneness, such as sunny-side-up, about 4 minutes.
- Divide the sticky rice mixture onto plates or into bowls and top each with an egg. Sprinkle with the tamari, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds, and the green parts of green onions. Serve immediately.
(Makes 30 to 35 Medallions)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, florets only
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 3 TBS almond meal
- 2 TBS organic corn meal
- 2 TBS chia seeds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- dried herbs (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets.
- Fill a saucepan up with 2 to 3 inches of water, and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiled, place the cauliflower florets in the saucepan. Cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the boiled water from the saucepan and run the cauliflower under cold water.
- Put the cauliflower, cheese, onions, and parsley in a food processor and mix until everything is finely chopped.
- Empty the cauliflower mixture into a bowl and stir in the egg and egg white.
- Add the almond meal, corn meal, chia seeds, salt, pepper, and any dried herbs, and fold everything into the cauliflower mixture.
- Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and place it on the cookie sheet. Flatten the mixture into small medallions.
- Once all the mixture is placed on the cookie sheets, place the sheets into the oven.
- Bake for about 16 to 20 minutes and flip the medallions halfway through the baking.
- Remove the medallions from the oven when they are golden brown.
Aside from these delicious recipes, get used to sprinkling Chia Seeds on a variety of foods – here are some simple ideas:
- Avocado toast – sprinkle some chia seeds on top of the mashed avocado
- Breakfast – sprinkle a dessert spoon over your normal breakfast cereal
- Snack – mix a spoonful in with a yoghurt
- Fresh fruit salad – sprinkle over the top
- Vegetables – sprinkle them over cooked vegetables
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