There’s a lot of hype about these small little black and white seeds – chia seeds (not to be confused with basil/sabja seeds) and it’s doing the rounds on the internet for a while now! From adding it to smoothies to making breakfast bowls, these little seeds have become extremely popular in the present day.
So what’s all this hype about? Why have chia seeds become so popular? Well, the reason chia seeds have gained popularity over the past few years, is only because people have become more aware of the benefits of chia seeds.
Here’s how chia seeds can benefit your body:
- Improves digestion:
Chia seeds are rich in fibre and with its intake; fibre helps one to have good digestion and good bowel movements. It is helpful to ease one’s stool as it has soluble fibres, which also feed on the friendly bacteria in the gut.
- Good for heart diseases/cardiovascular system:
Chia seeds have an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps reduce the risk of many diseases including the heart. It also helps lower one’s blood pressure and triglycerides (the most common type of fat in one’s body). Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to HDL (high-density lipoprotein), also known as good cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Good for diabetics: The intake of chia seeds can help maintain the insulin levels of the body and stabilizes the blood sugar levels, especially after meals. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and magnesium and these antioxidants are helpful to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes or any other complications that diabetics have.
- Can help in weight loss:
Chia seeds absorb large amounts of water (even up to 12 times their weight), as they are soluble fibres and once consumed they expand in the stomach and make the person full, in turn reducing the intake or consumption of food. The proteins in the chia seeds could help to reduce one’s appetite. The fibres in chia seeds help in the slow absorption of food, keeping you full for a longer time, in turn making a person consume lesser food and gain lesser calories.
- Used for skin ailments:
Chia seeds contain antioxidants which are helpful for age-related wrinkles and their anti-inflammatory properties help treat acne. Chia seeds also have omega-3s, which keep the skin hydrated at all times.
- Prevents the risk of getting cancer:
Chia seeds are also known as the ‘cancer-fighting super food’. They are known to have lignans, which contain anti-estrogenic effects and inhibit the growth of cells in breast tumours and also reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
- Helpful for osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis is a medical condition where the bones lack calcium or vitamin D and become brittle or fragile. Chia seeds can be helpful to those who suffer from any sort of bone issues because it contains calcium, phosphorous and manganese.
How to add chia seeds to your diet?
- In chia seed pudding: Take half a cup of milk, add in two tablespoons of chia seeds and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until the milk with chia seeds has turned into a thick pudding. You could top it up with fruits of your choice and it’s ready to consume.
- In beverages: Smoothies, cold drinks, protein shakes, porridge or even just regular water! Chia seeds can be added to anything and consumed.
- For salad dressings: In salads, sauces or even dips, you can add in some chia seeds and because of its neutral flavour, you will hardly know it is there!
- For vegan baking: Chia seeds can be used as a substitute for eggs as the gel from the ground seeds may be used to replace the content of egg in cakes while still providing nutrients.
- Add in breakfast bowls/granola bars/pancakes: You could also add in chia seeds in your cereals for breakfast, in energy or granola bars, in your curd/yoghurt bowl, in your sautéed vegetables or maybe even in your pancakes!