Chia seeds: the superfood

6 min read
Published:
17 Feb 2017
Duration:
6 min read
Words:
702 words
Segment:
Miscellanous
Yes, they are that good for you

These nutrients-dense seeds are very easy to digest and so versatile in terms of how you can prepare (more on that later) and reap their rewards. They have been known to be used as a source of stamina, energy and endurance and have been lauded for both nutritional and medical values. Did you know that simply about two tablespoons of them contain a whole lot of nutrients that include 11g of fibre, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and antioxidants? Yes, they are that good for you.


Benefits

Because they pack so many nutrients, vitamins and minerals, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these seeds give us so many benefits:


A low-carb, low-calorie, high-fibre, high-protein food: With such a nutritional profile, need I elaborate on its goodness? Note that these nutrients mean enhanced metabolism, higher fitness endurance and lean muscle gain.


Aids in weight loss:  There is no foolproof way of losing weight; you need to watch your diet and exercise regularly. Chia seeds do not guarantee weight loss, but they make you feel full faster and for a longer time, which helps to prevent overeating.


Good for your bones: For vegans, chia seeds will be a great addition to your diet since they have very high calcium content.


Good for your heart: Studies have shown that chia seeds help to regulate cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reverse inflammation, which means they help protect your heart.

Diet
As mentioned earlier, it is really easy to include these seeds in your diet. These unprocessed, whole grain seeds are readily absorbed by the body and their mild, nutty flavour makes them versatile enough to be added to many foods and beverages. Do note that it is advised that you add these seeds gradually into your diet. Here are some of my favourite ways to make chia part of my meal(s).

  • As a ‘condiment’ on my toast: If you are a nut lover and love your nut butters, then you can jazz up your toast with nut butter with a sprinkle of the seeds.

  • Chia-seed infused water: Simply add one tablespoon of chia seeds into a bottle of water. Close the cap and shake the bottle vigorously. Let the seeds soak for a few hours or overnight. You can choose to add your favourite seasonal fruits (strawberries, oranges), but the drink must be consumed within a few hours.
  • Breakfast bowl: I found this recipe online, and I am a fan. This bowl never fails to provide a healthy start to my day.  Mash one medium or two small bananas in a bowl. Stir in 3-4 tablespoons of chia seeds. To the mixture, add one cup of milk, a teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional) and a pinch of cinnamon. Place it in the fridge overnight, and the next morning, sprinkle some nuts on top and enjoy.
  • Add-ons: Another very simple way to incorporate these seeds would be to add them in nearly everything from your cake/pancake batter, salads, smoothies (chia lassi is yummy!) to even your dal. But when you have them raw, it is very important that you consume more water.