Ever wondered what those small seeds that are coated with a gel like substance in your designer smoothie are called? They’re called Chia seeds. It’s easy to make your own designer smoothie if you have some Chia seeds lying around. Not only do they add texture to your drink but also adds amazing health benefits.
Chia seeds are grey, oval seeds with specks of black and white. They are the edible seeds of the Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) native to Central America. The seeds are hydrophilic, meaning they love water. They absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid, giving them their distinctive gel like texture.
Chia seeds are used in a variety of ways. They can be added to drinks like smoothies and shakes, or mixed with any kind of juice or milk. They can be added to energy bars, oatmeal, yogurt, bread, and tortillas. They can be made into pudding by adding milk and sweetener. They can even be consumed directly.
Powerhouse of nutrients
Chia seeds are nutrient dense. Each ounce (28 grams or 2 tablespoons) of Chia seeds contains 27% of the RDI of Phosphorus, 30% of the RDI of Manganese and Magnesium, 18% of the RDI of Calcium, 11 grams of Fibre. 4 grams of Protein, and 9 grams of Fat.
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants. These protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid. The seed’s self preservation methods benefit us too by sharing their antioxidants with us.
Chia seeds have a high fibre and high protein content. High fibre means that it makes you full faster and high protein could help reduce cravings and food intake, increasing your satiety. This is good news for people who want to manage their weight or lose weight. High fibre is also good for blood sugar control. The ever beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids are also present in Chia seeds. In fact, gram for gram, Chia seeds contain more Omega 3 than salmon. The unbeatable combo of fibre, protein, and Omega 3, may help reduce risk of heart disease.
Packed with Calcium
These little super seeds are great for bone health, too. An ounce of them can fill 18% of the daily allowance for Calcium. That’s equivalent to 8 oz of milk. They’re also rich in phosphorus and magnesium, both of which are very important for bone health. This is great news for people who don’t eat dairy.
Important B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and niacin are also present in Chia seeds. B vitamins are essential for metabolic and cardiovascular health. There’s so much goodness in such a tiny seed!