Used by the Aztecs and Mayans to increase stamina, energy, and strength, chia seeds are some of the most nutritionally-balanced foods you can add to your diet. Chia seeds have many uses and are incredibly easy to add into any meal, easily improving the nutritional value of a meal. The small seeds, while they don’t seem like much, are packed with an incredible profile of macro and micronutrients (nutritional info below). With most of the carbs coming from fiber, and most of the fats being polyunsaturated. Chia seeds are definitely one of the easiest ways to improve your diet.
Chia Seed Nutrition Facts
Aside from the incredible macronutrients, chia seeds have many other benefits as well. For one, they are full of antioxidants. The antioxidants present in chia seeds have many health benefits, but will specifically act as a natural preservative for the polyunsaturated fats in the seed (don’t be frightened by my use of the word “preservative” as you won’t find any preservatives in these all-natural, strength-building seeds), as well as fighting cell damage which is a cause for aging and cancer. Speaking of the fats in chia seeds, 78% of them are polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats are a form of healthy fats and are a staple of any athlete’s diet, as they aid in preventing insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes if it gets out of hand. Chia seeds pack about 100 usable calories per oz (the others come from fiber) and are an easy way to help you reach your nutrient goals.
If all these amazing statistics haven’t sold you on the seed yet, here’s something that might. Because of the high fiber content, which equates to very low net carbs, and the high amounts of quality protein in chia seeds, the tiny seeds are incredible for weight loss. The fiber in chia seeds acts to absorb water in the stomach, making you feel more full and slowing the time it takes your body to absorb nutrients. Simultaneously, the protein in the seeds will help reduce your appetite. In addition, since most of the carbs in chia seeds come from fiber, they can be a great way to get more calories and more fiber, without the carbs, on a ketogenic diet. Based on the quantities of these two essential nutrients, fiber, and protein, in chia seeds, the seeds can be a crucial part of anybody’s weight loss diet. Here’s some additional nutritional facts:
|Chia Seeds Nutritional Information per 1 oz./28 g.|
|Vitamin A (RDA)||0%|
|Vitamin B12 (RDA)||0%|
|Vitamin C (RDA)||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0.9 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||7 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.7 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
How To Eat Chia Seeds
One of the hottest trends right now is bowls. There are smoothie bowls, oatmeal bowls, yogurt bowls, and bowls with anything you can think of. On almost every popular social media page dedicated to food pictures, you’ll find at least one picture of a well-decorated smoothie bowl; we are truly living in the bowl renaissance. Often times, these food-stagrammers will garnish their healthy bowls with chia seeds. This is the perfect use for the seeds because it’s incredibly simple and takes no time at all. Chia seeds make a great addition to any bowl as they will not only add a fun garnish to the meal but also improve the nutritional value as well. One of my favorite uses for chia seeds is adding them to my yogurt or cottage cheese to add texture and get some extra calories in.
In addition to bowls, chia seeds have countless other uses too. You can add them to pancakes, spice up your granola, make your bread more interesting, or even make pudding! Because of the composition of the seeds, they will become liquid when left in water, milk, etc. One easy way to try this is by adding 1/4 cup of Chia seeds to 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk. After you’ve added those two, you can be more creative and add protein powders, cocoa powder, or a sweetener, whatever you decide! Once all the ingredients are together, stir everything so that it mixes and let the whole thing refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so that it thickens.
Chia seeds are an incredibly versatile food that can be added to any recipe. And unlike some other specialty ingredients, they’re just as easy to find as they are to use.
You can find chia seeds at most chain grocery stores, as well as local health food stores, supplement stores, and even pharmacies too. With all of their many uses and how easy it is to get them, chia seeds are a true superfood and something that would benefit anyone looking to improve their diet.