The Health Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds

The health benefits and uses of chia seeds

Remember the Chia Pet?  The TV novelty where you would coat seeds on to a clay sculpture and eventually it would sprout grass like fuzz?  Bet you never thought that one day you’d see people putting those seeds in and on almost anything they could.  It’s true; the same seeds that make up the Chia Pet of years past are now the latest health and nutrition power foods. 

Health Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds

What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are a whole grain edible seed that comes from a desert plant grown in Mexico.  Consumption of chia seeds date back to Mayan and Aztec culture where they were used because of their natural ability to boost energy.  The unprocessed seed can be absorbed by the body in seed form (unlike flax seeds that need to be ground) which makes it easy to add to food.  Chia seeds contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and carbohydrates.

What are the Health Benefits of Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids (the healthy fat) and are considered to be the richest plant source of Omega-3’s.    Omega-3 fatty acids are known to protect against inflammation including arthritis and heart disease.

Chia seeds are able to absorb up to 10 times their weight in water and forms a gel like substance when it does.  This process helps you to feel full longer.  In addition this gel like substance provides hydration for the body thus making chia seeds very popular with athletes.

Chia seeds are being researched as a natural way to control type II Diabetes.  The formation of the chia gel slows down digestion which helps control blood sugar and prevents blood sugar spikes.  Chia seeds also contain approximately one third of the daily recommendation of fiber which is important for overall digestive health.

How do You Use Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds come in both black and white varieties and can be found in most grocery stores, specialty health food stores, and online.

As mentioned previously, Chia seeds can be absorbed by the body in their seed form making them quite versatile.  They have a mild nut-like flavor and can be added to almost anything.  You can sprinkle raw chia seeds on to your yogurt or oatmeal.  You can also toast them  and toss them with your salads to add a nice crunch.

Depending on your tolerance of strange textures, chia seeds and be mixed with fruit juices to make a gel-type substance.  Some people with texture issues may find this off putting but the gel itself carries its own benefits like keeping the body hydrated.  There are also a number of drinks on the market now that have chia seeds in them.  The drinks are sweet and the seeds have a slight gummy texture around them.

For people who are vegan or choose not to eat eggs chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement in baked goods.  Simply mix one tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and mix.  This is the equivalent of one egg.

Chia seeds are quickly gaining popularity and are beginning to pop up almost everywhere.  From salad bars to drinks filled with chia seeds this power food is showing promise in improving health and wellbeing.

What products have you seen that have chia seeds in them and what are your thoughts on this super food?

More Healthy Foods to Add to your Diet:

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

The Health Benefits of Turmeric

The Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

20 Frugal Ways to Use Coconut Oil

 Alicia can be found on her blog Moms Don’t Say That where she share recipes, tips, and musings from her life.



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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.

Comments

  1. And until now, I only knew about these seeds due to Chia Pets. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks, Alea! I use chia seeds in my smoothies, on top of meals, and on top of cereal. I really enjoy incorporating them in my diet. Thanks for the good information on how beneficial they are!

  3. I used to take a powdered supplement that had chia as an ingredient, and the seeds were always getting stuck in my teeth–I felt like I was eating fine gravel. A friend just gave us some chia seeds, so I’m going to try them again. Great blog, by the way!
    #SITSblogging

  4. I am gluten free and have been using coconut flour to bake with but don’t like that I have to use so many eggs. Do you think that the chia seed gel would work with coconut flour? I would like to maybe use half chia and half eggs.

  5. BRIGITA says:

    i put them into the snack balls i make for my kids (nuts/dried fruits/seeds/nut butters/coconut/cinnamon/vanilla into the food processor then we refrigerate them. they grab them all the time before the gym/after a run, etc. we also put them into our green smoothies every morning, sprinkle them onto yogurt, put them on salads. we also use hemp hearts in our smoothies, etc. for added protein and essential fats.

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  1. […] such as, reduction in inflammation that helps prevent arthritis and heart disease. The seeds easily absorb water and become gel-like which, helps create the feeling of being full for longer per…. These seeds are easily transportable–making it easy to take them on the road. There are also […]

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