Food Friday – Benefits of Chia Seeds

Hello Gingersneezers I am going to take a little tiny break from posting recipes for a bit, life has gotten a bit hectic and I don’t have the time to properly test out recipes before posting them on the blog for you.   Instead I figured I would try and do a weekly rundown of some healthy and awesome food items I try to add into my life whenever I can.

This week I figured I would focus on chia seeds.  They are something I read about two years ago and then after my big sister bought me to make sure I tried them I was hooked. Sometimes finding products like this, that aren’t manufactured in a facility that also handles nuts can be challenging, but luckily I have yet to run into a problem sourcing non-nut factory chia seeds the same I have finding pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

So where to start, I guess a good start would be with what the heck is a chia seed.

Yes, the chia pet is made with chia seeds but they are more than just some sprouting novelty seed. They originate from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is a part of the mint family and typically grown in Mexico, the plant dates back to the Aztecs, so the plant has been around. Although the plant has been around for a long long time, it is only fairly recently that it has made its way over to North America and Europe. Although it took a while to get over here thank goodness it did, the glorious old seed, though tiny, is bursting with healthy essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

chia seeds

Let’s get into a bit more detail about why they are so great for you and what better way to do that than provide a list.

  1. A happy heart is a healthy heart.  Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.  It is important that we all get enough of these healthy essential fatty acids in order to promote a healthy immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems.
  2. Keep you on track.  Chia seeds are jam packed with fiber which helps with keeping you regular, among other things like reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol.  Just 2 tiny tablespoons of chia seeds provides you with 11g of fiber which is roughly 1/3 of your recommended fiber intake.
  3. Strong bones! Everyone always telling you to have your glass of milk to grow up with strong bones, well some of us are lactose intolerant so what are we to do.  Sure supplements are a decent substitute, but chia seeds are also an option.
  4. Protein.  For all the vegans and vegetarians out there chia seeds are a great option to boost your protein intake. In a 2 tbsp serving of these little gems there are 4g of protein, so they are a great option to mix into your smoothies, sprinkle on your salads or mix it into your baked goods.
  5. Popeye should have been eating them, with all the spinach that guy was downing he could have saved himself some chewing and just had a tablespoon of these little guys.  Per 100 grams these little guys have 6 times as much iron as spinach, talk about bang for your buck!
  6. Free radicals forget about it! Chia seeds are extremely high in antioxidants not only do these guys help keep you looking youthful but they are also great cancer fighters.

Hopefully these 6 reasons are enough for you to get interested and head out to try them out.  If you aren’t sure about putting them on your salad or tossing them into your smoothies maybe test them out in some fresh raw jam and they will definitely win you over.

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