You’ve probably heard that old proverb “good things come in small packages.” It’s a saying that can be applied to a lot of things in life, and recently I found another one. I’ve been hearing a lot about how great nuts and seeds can be when you’re trying to improve your diet.
During my forays into that area, I stumbled across Chia Seeds. The more I read about them, the more impressed I was. For a substance so small, Chia seeds pack a ton of nutrients. What’s more, they’ve got a lot of other benefits that make them an excellent diet choice.
1. Packed With Nutrients
When you’re in the dieting world looking for things suitable to add to your weekly food choices, you come across a lot of foods that are marketed as being “packed with nutrients.” Unfortunately, not all of them actually are. Chia seeds, however, are the real deal. A one ounce (28 gram) serving of Chia seeds has:
– No sugar
– 11 grams of fiber
– 8.5 grams of fat
– 130 calories
– 5.5 grams of protein
– 13 grams of carbohydrates
2. Magnesium, Calcium & Antioxidants
On top of all that, eating one ounce of these seeds a day would get you 30 percent of your recommended daily intake of manganese and 18 percent of your daily calcium needs. They’re also loaded with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and phosphorous.
3. Digestion, Diabetes, and Detox
“Given how much good stuff chia seeds carry in their very small package, it’s already a no-brainer that adding them to your diet is a good call. However, there’s more to them than just nutrients. Chia seeds can help address a number of different health issues.”
4. Say Bye to Constipation
The amount of fiber they contain prevents constipation, which in turn means that they aid in your body’s natural detox functions. Chia seeds also aid digestive issues. Eating them as a regular part of your diet can increase the colon’s water absorption and reduce inflammation.
5. Stabilizes Sugar Levels
Because they’re so high in fiber, they help keep blood sugar levels stable and can attribute to a lower risk of diabetes.
6. Increasing “Good” Cholesterol
Chia seeds are also touted for the fact that they lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The Omega-3 fatty acids they have raises HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering the amount of triglycerides in your body.
“Incorporating chia seeds into your diet, along with making other healthy lifestyle changes, can subsequently reduce the risks of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.”
7. Weight Loss
As I mentioned before, chia seeds are very high in fiber. High fiber foods are great for people who are trying to lose weight because they make you feel fuller for longer. In addition to chia seeds being fiber rich, they’ve also got those amazing omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid, both of which promote your body’s natural methods of weight loss.
8. Bone Health
If you’re anything like I used to be, you always just assumed you needed calcium for healthy bones. The actual fact of the matter is that calcium is only one of the many nutrients needed for healthy bones. Phosphorus, protein, and magnesium are also crucial for developing (and maintaining) strong bones, and those are all nutrients that chia seeds have in abundance.
9. Introducing Chia Seeds Into Your Diet
When you’re trying to eat healthy, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. So many foods need to be prepared or cooked a certain way that it can be stressful just to plan a meal. Fortunately, chia seeds are ridiculously easy to incorporate into your diet plan. You can add them to basically anything (you can also eat them on their own, but they’re kind of tasteless). If you’re looking for simple ideas, try a few of my methods:
add them to yogurt, cereal, puddings, or soak them in your juice of choice (the last one makes a surprisingly tasty snack!)
Use them as a topper when you’re baking (I like to add them to my banana bread, but they’d also be great on cookies or squares).
If you’re okay with getting a little more complicated, you can use them as an egg substitute in recipes, or as sauce thickener. There’s a lot you can do with them, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
10. Small Package, Huge Benefits
This doesn’t mean that you need to eat them with every meal or even every day. As long as they’re a staple of your diet, you’re going to benefit from all the nutrients they offer, as well as their other healthier attributes.