Last week we posted a recipe for energy balls which include chia seeds as one of the ingredients. I thought it might be a good time to do another seed-post and focus on Chia seeds.
Chia seeds were first used by the Aztecs, and in recent times have been dubbed a “super food”. After compiling this post, I can see why.
Because chia are high in antioxidants they have a long shelf life, and are able to last almost two years without refrigeration. Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains so are therefore gluten free!
Interestingly, Chia seeds could be used as an egg-replacer. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.
What are the health benefits of chia seeds?
There are many benefits from eating chia- they’re a good source of:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – essential fatty acids need to be obtained from food sources because your body cannot produce them. Omega 3′s reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
- Plant-based protein – an essential nutrient needed for many functions in the body, including muscle building.
- Antioxidants – helping our body eliminate free radicals linked to cancer and heart disease.
- Fibre – chia seeds are an excellent source of fibre (6 grams per tablespoon) helping you feel full, and enhancing “regularity”.
- Magnesium – a mineral essential for good health
- Potassium – another mineral needed for good health.
Chia seeds may also help with:
- Regulating insulin levels – by reducing insulin resistance and decreasing abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.
- Maintaining a healthy weight – potentially assisting in weight reduction related to their regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin.
- Reducing hypertension.
How to eat chia seeds?
You don’t need to eat many chia seeds per day to gain the health benefits: adults could consume about 1-2 tbsp dry seeds daily. One Tablespoon contains around 60 calories, 5 g of fat, 6 g of carb, 6 g of fibre, 3 g of protein. Try incorporating chia seeds into your diet in these ways:
- Make some energy balls, great for lunch boxes.
- Create one of Amy’s fabulous breakfasts.
- Make Kate’s muesli for mums.
- Drink them – add chia seeds to water, juice or any other hot/cold drink (wait a few minutes to see so they absorb some of the liquid).
- Add them to smoothies.
- Add them into your baking.
- What about this amazing pear, prune and chia butter-less chocolate almond cake?
- Sprinkle them on your cereal.
- Sprinkle into a sandwich.
Mummy to three small boys