Maximum nutrients, minimum calories! What more can you get from chia seeds?
Chia seeds has been hailed as a superfood primarily because of its many health benefits. Did you know it could absorb up to 12 times its own weight? The nutritional profile includes healthy omega-3 fats, fibre, protein and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
When buying chia seeds, go for the white and black seeds and look out for red seeds which are undeveloped chia seeds. As an alternative, biji selasih or basil seeds may be easier to obtain locally and have the same benefits too.
As chia seeds is a tasteless ingredient, you can add it to your meals, salads, drinks, etc. These are seven good reasons why chia seeds should be part of your diet.
Supports strong bones
Great news for those who are lactose intolerant or dislike milk. Just 28 grams of chia seeds can deliver 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Chia seeds help provide calcium to your bones so it stays strong and also it lowers your chances of developing osteoporosis.
Helps you sleep
Chia seeds have tryptophan in them, which is an amino acid-like substance that raises melatonin and serotonin levels. These hormones are crucial to give you stable, deep sleep. Tryptophan also helps regulate appetite and improve mood.
Helps control blood sugar
Chia seeds’ high fibre content helps regulate the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar and sugar to fat during digestion. This in turn keeps blood sugar levels steady. The gelatinous coating of chia seeds when exposed to air and liquid can prevent blood sugar spikes.
If you’re feeling peckish in the afternoon, try drinking a glass of water with two tablespoons of chia seeds. Chia seeds contain fibre and when consume, it expands in the tummy, helping you feel satiated. This makes great addition to a breakfast smoothie or yoghurt.
Helps energy levels
Chia is one of the highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Combined with other nutritional content like vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel, chia seeds is good for your energy. The complex carbs found in chia break down slowly to maintain energy levels for improve stamina and endurance.
Improves heart health
As chia seeds are high in essential fatty acids, it can help to increase HDL or good cholesterol while decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol). Chia seeds are also high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, the latter has been shown to help lower cholesterol too.
Due to the high levels of essential fatty acids in chia, it provides anti-inflammatory properties in the body by aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and reducing C-reactive protein, which is an inflammation marker.