Now that you have decided to add chia seeds to your diet, you have to consider how you want to eat them. When Chia Seeds first re-emerged as the latest and greatest superfood, there were many comparisons to Chia and the rest of the superfoods on the market like Acai or flax. However, one of the many reasons that Chia leaves these other superfoods in the dust, is the versatile nature of how they can be consumed, and what happens after they are consumed.
They can be eaten raw, added into your baked goods or stirred into smoothies. You can even grind them up and add them straight to your water or milk. In addition, there are many great chia based bars and gels available to purchase at your local market.
When the seeds are grown, the sprouts can also be eaten. The sprouts are typically added to meals such as sandwiches and salads. Most people do not eat the sprouts, however, as the seeds are where the majority of the nutrients are concentrated.
One neat aspect of chia seeds is that they have a very limited flavor. In fact, they help enhance the flavor of whatever food you add it to. This makes them a better choice than flax seeds, as many people do not like the aftertaste of flax. Chia seeds actually swell up, or gel, when liquid is added to them, which helps you feel fuller longer.
Here are ten reasons you might want to consider adding chia seeds to your diet:
1. More Energy
Chia seeds are a complete protein, meaning you don’t have to add other foods to them to enjoy the full benefits of their protein content. Protein is essential for energy. A diet high in protein will ensure you have a steady supply of energy all day long, instead of the highs and lows associated with sugar and caffeine. As these little seeds swell, consuming up to ten times their weight in surrounding liquid, they create a time release capsule of sorts in system, slowing and methodically delivery a powerhouse of vitamins, protein and omega fatty acids throughout the day.
2. Regulate blood sugar
Mid day slumps are often the cause of dropping blood sugar. When you eat foods with sugar or any type of simple carbohydrates, you may feel a temporary surge in energy. However, this surge will then crash, leaving you tired and drained. Chia seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps turn your food into a consistent energy source instead of giving you a temporary spike.
3. Regulate your digestive system
You need fiber in your diet to keep everything in your digestive system working smoothly. With the overabundance of highly processed flours on the market today, more people than ever are experiencing gastrointestinal problems of some sort. Soluble fiber keeps your colon hydrated, which helps keep your stool moving through without difficulty. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested, which helps push food through your colon. Since chia seeds contain both kinds, they are a great option for anyone needing gastrointestinal help.
4. Lose weight
The gelling action of chia seeds helps to keep you full between meals. Most diets are not sustainable because people get hungry and eventually have to eat something that is not on their list of approved foods. By simply sprinkling chia seeds on or in your food, you can stay fuller longer.
5. Boost your brain power
Chia seeds are chock full of omega-3s, a healthy fatty acid that has been linked to improved cognitive function. If your brain has been feeling sluggish or you simply wish to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, add omega-3s to your diet.
6. Cut your saturated fat consumption
We have more knowledge today about the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats than we did in the 1950s when all fat started to get a bad reputation. Today, health care professionals know that unsaturated fats are actually good for you, but saturated fats are not. To reduce your saturated fat consumption, simply substitute chia gel for half the butter or oil you need for your recipe. Your food will taste the same but will be much healthier.
7. Look and feel younger
The power of antioxidants has been thoroughly researched and confirmed. In every grocery store, you will find products that have antioxidants added. Chia seeds are naturally high in antioxidants and are a great way to get more in your diet.
8. Reduce food cravings
Your body will often signal to you that you need more of a certain nutrient by making you crave it. If you find you are craving chocolate, for instance, your body may need more unsaturated fats or antioxidants. Instead of gobbling up a king sized candy bar, however, eat some chia seeds. The high content of vitamins and minerals in these seeds will help your body fight cravings by giving it what it needs without the extra calories.
9. Save money
It seems crazy, but adding chia seeds to your diet can actually help you save money. You will be eating less food because you will be fuller longer, therefore you no longer have to buy as many groceries. Also, if you are trying to lose weight by doing a shake diet or protein bars, these products are expensive. Lose weight easily and naturally while saving money by incorporating chia seeds into your diet.
10. Variety of ways to eat chia
You won’t get bored eating chia seed products. The unique makeup of these seeds has caught the attention of manufacturers everywhere and they are creating all kinds of chia seed products. If you don’t care for sprinkling chia seeds on your food, you can incorporate them into your diet through bottled waters, pastas. squeezable gel pouches, peanut butters, nutrition bars and even pill form.
For those who are concerned about non-GMO and Kosher foods, it is important to note that most raw chia seeds are both non-GMO and Kosher. Always double check the labels to make sure, but the majority of manufacturers makes sure their seeds fall under these two categories. If this is a concern for you, it’s another great reason to only shop from those manufacturers that you know you can trust.
Where to Buy Chia Seeds
Since chia seeds are big news right now, they are pretty easy to find. Your local grocery store more than likely has a selection of chia seeds and chia products. Health food stores also normally carry several different choices of chia seeds, supplements and other chia products. If you cannot find chia products near you, they are easily found online at places such as Swanson’s and Amazon.