Tag Archives: Chia Seeds

The Benefits Of A Sprinkle Of Chia Seeds

SNL enthusiasts may recall the ‘Chia Head” sketch, featuring Kevin Nealon, Chris Rock, and David Spade as balding men who have “tried everything” and failed miserably in their futile attempts to regrow hair. The commercial spoof shows the actors throwing ineffective hair products in the garbage only to be pleasantly surprised by the discovery of “Chia Head.” This product, much like the “Chia Pet” novelty, requires the men to rub the gloppy formula on their heads, only to wake up the next morning having sprouted plantlike follicles in varying afro-like shapes – the most hilarious of which is probably Chris Rock’s Marge Simpson-inspired beehive-like do.

Funny as the sketch was, it is perhaps more amusing to realize that hair growth is one of the many health benefits of chia seeds. If only the SNL alum had known; a little sprinkle of chia really could’ve gone a long way.

Chia seeds

High in Nutrients, Low In Calories
It’s no accident that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength. These tiny black seeds, related to the mint, contain 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of omega-3s, as well as a decent percentage of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous. Chia seeds are a gluten-free, GMO-free, whole grain food, and one ounce contains a low 137 calories and one gram of carbohydrate.

Antioxidant Rich
The antioxidants in chia seeds prevent the production of free radicals that can cause damage to cell molecules and contribute to cancer and aging.

Fiber Rich
Although chia seeds have 12 grams of carbs per ounce, 11 of those are fiber, which means that these 11 grams are not digested by the body, do not raise blood sugar, and don’t require insulin for disposal. The high-fiber content means that the seeds can absorb as much as 10 to 12 times their weight in water, thereby increasing fullness, slowing food absorption, and decreasing feelings of hunger. Chia seeds are one of the best fiber sources in the world, helping to feed good bacteria in the intestine and promoting proper digestion.

High In Protein
Chia seeds are about 14% protein by weight and contain a good balance of amino acids, which assists in helping our body to process the proteins in them. High protein can reduce appetite and is shown to lower food cravings by 60% and the need for nighttime snacking by 50%.

Can Improve Athletic Performance
A recent study was conducted to find out if there was truth to the legend that Mayans and Aztecs used chia seeds as high-performance fuel. Six participants were given carb-loaded Gatorade or a mix of Gatorade and chia seeds. After a workout involving an hour on the treadmill followed by a 10-kilometer run, it was discovered that both groups performed equally well, suggesting that the chia seeds were just as effective as Gatorade in fueling athletic performance.

Incorporating Chia Seeds In Your Diet
Chia seed can be eaten raw or added to puddings, porridges, and baked goods. They can be sprinkled on yogurt, cereal, vegetables, and rice and can even be used as egg substitutes because of their ability to absorb water and fat. Recommended dosage is 20 grams, or about 1.5 tablespoons, twice daily.

Do you have any chia-seed recommendations for us? We’d love to hear from you!

Chia Seeds & Overall Health

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are among some of the healthiest foods available on our planet. They are packed with nutrients and vitamins that can have a great positive effect on our bodies, brains and overall health. One of the main benefits of eating chia seeds is that you can obtain a huge quantity of nutrients in a relatively small amount of calories. Chia seeds are derived the from the plant Salvia Hispanica which grows natively in South America and are a vital food source for the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. However, it is only in recent years that chia seeds have been recognized as a superfood and now they have grown incredibly in popularity and are consumed by millions of health conscious individuals around the world.

Nutritionally Speaking
One single ounce or 28g of chia seeds supplies just 137 calories and only one gram of carbohydrate. This makes them perfect for low-carb diets and also additionally validates them as one of the best sources of nutrients calorie for calorie. One ounce also contains 11g of fiber, 4g of protein and 9g of fat. Additionally, chia seeds contain 30% of the recommended intake of manganese and magnesium and are also high in zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and B2.

Antioxidants
Chia seeds are also extremely high in antioxidants which fight the production and damage done by free radicals in the body that can harm cells and contribute to the aging process as well as conditions such as cancer.

Weight Loss
Many nutritionists have noted that chia seeds can help with weight loss. The fiber content absorbs large amounts of water, expanding in the stomach thereby increasing satiety and that general fullness feeling after you eat a meal. Although there have been few studies backing chia seeds as an effective way to lose weight, the studies have all shown that there was no increase in weight while participants consumed them.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When people think about omega-3 fatty acids, they generally think of oily fish such as salmon. Though you may not know it now, chia seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon gram for gram. Although there are various types of fatty acids, chia seeds will help increase blood levels of EPA and ALA, but not DHA meaning that although it is definitely worthwhile to consume them, you should not forget to eat your fish or take your fish oil supplement.

Reduced Disease Risk
Chia seeds can improve metabolic health on account of their high fiber, protein and omega-3 content. Studies have shown that when chia seeds are incorporated into a healthy diet, they can lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while reducing inflammation in the body and increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Easy to Incorporate into Your Life
One of the main benefits of chia seeds, not regarding specific nutritional values, is their versatility and ability to be incorporated into any diet extremely easily and efficiently. Although the seeds themselves taste quite bland, they can be added to anything from soups and curries to juices and sports drinks. Additionally, you do not need to grind them like flaxseeds and so are much easier to use and prepare. Other ideas include sprinkling them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables and rice dishes.