Ingredient Spotlight: 5 Reasons You Should Be Eating Chia Seeds
They’re tiny and unassuming but these little speckled seeds pack an enormous nutritional punch. While the modern world has only recently embraced this superfood, the ancient Mayan and Aztecs revered chia seeds for their ability to provide sustainable energy, so much so that the Mayan word for “strength” was “chia”!
- It’s a protein powerhouse: Chia seeds are one of the largest sources of vegetarian protein. 100gms of chia gives you 17g of protein, just 10g less than what a person would get from eating the same quantity of chicken but without all the unhealthy animal fats and problems with bacteria and antibiotics.
- Gives you stronger teeth and bones: You derive 17% of your daily calcium requirement from just one ounce of chia seeds. That’s more than what you get from milk (more reason not to drink any!). And a significant amount of minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese too.
- Fills you up nicely: Chia seeds expand and form a gooey outer coating when soaked in any liquid, which leaves your stomach feeling satiated. Those mid-afternoon junk food cravings will be history. It also contains Tryptophan, an amino acid, which puts you in a good mood and helps you sleep better.
- Gives you your Omega-3 fix: Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for brain health and you’ll find nearly five grams in an one-ounce serving of chia. Research also shows Omega-3 from chia absorbs better than that from flax seeds, which also have to be ground for nutrient absorption.
- Has the fibre edge: At 12g per ounce, it might seem like chia seeds are high on the carb count but a large portion of this is healthy dietary fibre, which you need to boost your metabolism and keep your digestive system running smoothly.