In case you haven’t heard, chia seeds have quickly become one of the world’s most popular superfoods and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. Packed with fibre, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, these versatile little seeds are great for digestion, nutrition and your heart.
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There are more health benefits to chia seeds than we can count, but here are the top 10 reasons you should try adding chia to your diet.
1. Get More Fibre
2. A Good Source Of Vegan Protein
A single serving of chia seeds offers 10 per cent of your required daily protein intake, making them an excellent source for vegetarians or vegans to easily get more protein in their diets. Protein is important for gaining muscle mass and losing weight, so chia seeds will fit right into your diet when you’re trying to get fit or slim down. Protein also helps with appetite reduction.
3. Rich In Antioxidants
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, which can improve your health and prevent you from getting sick. They fight production of free radicals, which is thought to help with the prevention of some cancers.
4. Stock Up On Your Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your heart and brain health, and there are nearly five-grams of omega-3s in a one-ounce serving of chia seeds. This, again, is excellent news for vegans who don’t eat salmon or other oily fish.
5. Get Stronger Teeth And Bones
Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein — nutrients that are vital for strong bones — are all abundant in chia seeds. In fact, chia seeds have more calcium per serving than dairy products (one serving has 18 per cent of your daily needs), which means they make an awesome dairy substitute for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan. A single serving of chia seeds also contains 30 per cent of your daily recommended intake of manganese, which is essential for bone health.
6. Combat Diabetes
There is some proof to suggest that type 2 diabetics improve in several areas when they include chia seeds in their diets. Diabetics who eat chia seeds may see their blood pressure decrease in statistically significant numbers, as well as other risk factors.
7. Have More Energy
Ditch the energy gels and drink some chia seeds before heading out on your morning run. The Tarahumara people of Mexico use chia seeds to fuel up before long runs, and they are capable of running hundreds of miles without stopping.
8. Use Them In Anything
You can add chia seeds to just about anything. One of the easiest ways to add chia to your diet is by sprinkling them on your yogurts, salads or cereals like you would granola or croutons, or to blend them into a smoothie. Those aren’t the only ways to eat chia; replace flour with ground chia to create a healthier crust, or use it as a breading for meatballs or as a thickener for sauces and soups. And of course, there’s always chia pudding.
9. Snack Smarter
Chia seeds are unique because they’re packed with an astounding amount of nutrients despite being relatively low in calories. A single ounce of chia seeds has about 137 calories; you’d be hard pressed to find a food that gives you more nutrients with such a low calorie count.
10. Combat Belly Fat
While chia seeds may not be a magic cure-all for losing weight, they are known for their stabilizing effect on blood sugar, which may be tied to a decrease in belly fat.