Chia seeds are touted as a “superfood,” but why? Here are just a few reasons why chia seeds are a healthy addition to your diet.
There’s been a lot of “buzz” about chia seeds over the past few years, but just what makes them so special?
For one thing, they contain a huge amount of nutrients for such a tiny seed. Chia seeds are packed with healthy stuff like Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They are easy to include in a wide variety of recipes, and are easy to digest as well. It’s no wonder that chia seeds have recently reached “superfood” status!
Here are a few good reasons to eat more chia seeds:
1.) Low in calories, high in nutrients
One of the best things about chia seeds is the fact they contain a mountain of nutrients, but very few calories. So, if you’re looking to lose weight as well as eat a healthier diet, these seeds are a fantastic staple to keep in the cupboard.
It’s estimated that two tablespoons of chia seeds contain around 137 calories. This makes them a dream for dieters, providing plenty of energy without the calories contained in many other snacks and starchy foods.
2.) They help to balance blood sugar
If you want to maintain good energy levels and health (and maintain a healthy weight), it’s important to ensure your blood sugar levels are well balanced. Chia seeds are known to help balance blood sugar levels thanks to both their fiber content and gelling action.
After eating the seeds with a meal, they help to turn the food into a steady, constant source of energy. So, if you find you often suffer from energy highs and lows throughout the day, chia seeds can help eliminate this problem.
3.) May help to combat the signs of aging
It has actually been discovered by Mexican researchers that chia seeds contain twice the levels of antioxidants than previously thought. Not only that, but the activity of the antioxidants showed that it could stop free radical activity by up to 70%.
So, what does this mean in terms of preventing the signs of aging? Well, many signs of aging are brought on by free radical damage. As the antioxidants in chia seeds prevent free radical activity, they naturally help you to stay looking younger for longer.
4.) Great for digestive health
In each ounce of chia seeds, there is an estimated 11g of fiber. This means just one serving of the seeds provides you with the recommended daily dose of fiber in accordance with the American Dietetic Association.
Fiber is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy digestive system. It promotes healthy stools and regular bowel movements. It also helps you feel fuller quicker, preventing you from overeating, and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer, curbing cravings for unhealthy snacks and junk foods.
Now, you may be wondering, what’s the difference between chia seeds and flax seeds – the “superfood” seed that everyone was raving about a few years ago? There are several differences, but the main one has to do with the amount of soluble fiber that chia seeds contain.
While both seeds contain a lot of fiber, chia seed contains more soluble fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full longer, and slows the uptake and release of sugar into your bloodstream (as I discussed above).
Chia seeds also contain more healthy fats in the form of Omega-3s than flax seeds do, and they also contain all of the necessary amino acids to form a complete protein.
That said, flax seeds are still a very healthy food, and you should feel free to incorporate these into your diet as well. They do contain more copper than chia seed, and they also are slightly lower in carbs.
Both flax seeds and chia seeds are very easy to add to your diet. You can sprinkle them in your oatmeal, or on top of cereal, add them to smoothies, or include in savory dishes as well. For some delicious chia seed recipes to try, be sure to check back this Friday!