Chia seeds have become more and more popular over the past few years, mainly thanks to their numerous nutritional benefits.
Good things really do come in small packages and these tiny little seeds contain lots of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function normally.
Native to South America but now grown all over the world, chia seeds are white, black or brown in colour.
They absorb their dry weight in water, creating a jelly-like mixture. They were a staple of ancient Aztec and Mayan diets but have only become a popular health food in the last 10 years.
You won’t believe how many nutritional benefits can be packed into these tiny seeds!
Chia seeds are rich in fibre
Chia seeds are rich in fibre, which helps to support your digestive system and normal bowel function, whilst helping to prevent constipation.
Fibre also helps you to feel fuller for longer, so an added sprinkle of black chia seeds can keep hunger at bay and help reduce the temptation to snack in between meals.
Chia seeds are protein rich
Chia seeds are also packed with protein, which our bodies need for normal muscle growth and recovery. This is especially important if you live an active lifestyle and do a lot of exercise.
Protein contributes to the maintenance of both muscle mass and normal bones.
Chia seeds contain 9 amino acids
Chia seeds also contain all nine amino acids: organic compounds which are often referred to as the building blocks of protein. Our bodies don’t produce these amino acids naturally and so we need to get them through our diets.
Chia seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids
They contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are important for the body’s functions, including maintaining your blood pressure.
Chia seeds are rich in calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium
Chia seeds are rich in calcium, which can help build and maintain strong bones; zinc which helps support your immune system; iron which is contributes towards the normal creation of haemoglobin in the blood, and magnesium which contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Wow - these really are super seeds!
It is really easy to add organic chia seeds into your diet as they can be included as an ingredient in a wide range of meals and even used when baking.
You can eat whole chia seeds or ground chia seeds and there are the same nutritional benefits in both products. It’s up to you which way you prefer to eat them!
For breakfast, you can sprinkle some chia seeds onto your usual cereal, porridge oats or yogurt, or add them to a smoothie to get your day started off in the right way.
In liquids or wet foods, they will soak up some of this, but they will still retain some crunch for a bit of added texture.
For lunch or dinner, pop a few chia seeds into soup or use as a salad topping.
Natural Milled Chia Seeds are milled to a fine powder and so you can easily mix these into drinks like smoothies with no fuss. They can also be used in baking as an extra ingredient for making cakes or brownies with some added protein.
If you have a sweet tooth, then why not try Mindfuel’s Chia Pudding Mix? This plant based pudding is an indulgent sweet treat which is packed full of nutrients. It’s also really simple to make. Just mix in nut drink or water and your pudding will be ready in minutes. It comes in a variety of flavours including dark chocolate; tart raspberry; matcha latte and banana cream pie.
Chia seeds have a long shelf life and you only need a small amount each day (one or two tablespoons of seeds, maximum) to reap the benefits, and so one pack can last a long time.
Chia seeds are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans as they are a completely natural, plant-based food.
In fact, they can be very beneficial to include in a vegan or vegetarian diet as they contain lots of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, commonly acquired through meat or fish, which might otherwise be missing in a more restrictive diet.
As well as being suitable for vegetarians and vegans, chia seeds are also able to be eaten on a gluten free diet.