Chia seeds are one of those super foods that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, though some of us are not quite sure how to use chia seeds and what the benefits of this small and highly versatile seed.
Eating Chia seeds means you can enjoy a multitude of health benefits, from their antioxidant power to their analgesic property, they are a great way to pack fibre into your diet and these seeds are also known to help weight loss.
What are they and what are they used for?
Chia seeds, are seeds from a native American plant, the Chia (Salvia Hispanica). The benefits and properties of Chia seeds have been recognised for hundreds of years in nutrition and for this reason they are now famous worldwide. They are consumed by athletes and models who want to lead a healthy life or follow a certain diet.
The seeds are rich in nutrients vital to our body and good health. They contain carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and even proteins of high nutritional value.
Without a doubt, a fundamental characteristic of these seeds that makes them so popular is that they are a source of omega 3 fatty acids of vegetable origin, which can be difficult to find.
How to eat chia seeds
To take full advantage of the properties and benefits of this good health, fibre packed, weight loss promoting food, you should know some recipes and the best way to prepare and eat Chia. Here we give you a few recipes to help you get started!
SmoothiesSmoothies are one of the best options you have when it comes to eating foods that by themselves are not very appetising, as can happen with chia seeds. Smoothies are a great breakfast food and could be a high nutrition healthy breakfast shake perfect for before or after the gym for example.
Add the seeds to smoothies that you regularly enjoy, like strawberry and banana or blueberries and red berries. It doesn't matter what flavour it is, the important thing is how much you use.
If you don’t want your favourite shake to become a seed shake, you should add about 25 grams of chia (equivalent to two tablespoons).
Many people mix nuts and fruits into yoghurts for breakfast or even as a pudding. Are you one of these people? Whether you are or not, one of the best ways to increase your consumption of chia in your diet in a healthy way is to add a small tablespoon of these seeds to yogurt.
SaladsIf you like to take care of yourself, you probably like eating salads- a versatile dish that you can modify in a thousand different ways, adding hundreds of ingredients or using only the essentials.
No matter what your secret recipe for a good salad is, a tablespoon of chia seeds on top of it will barely be noticed and will multiply its 'healthy food factor', and nutrition value.
SaucesOff the shelf sauces and flavourings available to purchase are an option, but without a doubt the healthier option is to make them at home. If you wish, you can add some chia seeds. Without altering the flavour, they will give your sauce a healthy touch that any sauce needs.
Bread and biscuitsIs there anything more delicious than fresh homemade bread? If you are making your own bread, surely you have already started to add more ingredients than necessary, such as walnuts or raisins.
Why not a little chia for some extra healthy fibre in your breakfast loaf? In addition, you can combine other seeds too , such as flax seed or even oats. You can add it to your recipes in your health food section!
Lemon water with chiaWithout a doubt, for weight loss one of the most common ways to drink chia is a glass of water with lemon juice and a teaspoon of these seeds. Drinking Chia this way, the body is purified, eliminating many toxins, aiding weight loss and preparing it for a new day.
Chia GelMany people make a kind of gel or porridge with these seeds. This is done by soaking the chia in a little water. With a few hours in the fridge you will have a Chia gel ready.
Chia are highly absorbent, so eating this will also keep you hydrated. How should you eat it? Well, if you are a fan of the taste of Chia you can eat the gel on its own. Otherwise, if you want to spice it up you can mix it with a fruit salad, a yogurt, a salad, cereal or other foods in your diet. Why not even add it to a fruit pudding?
Precautions and contraindications when consuming chia seedsTaking chia in addition to being good for your health and helping you maintain a balanced diet, can have some side effects. There are not many contraindications for chia, but the existing ones are better respected.
Almost everyone can consume the seeds but if you have doubts it is better to consult your doctor (for example, diabetics or people who are taking any medication).
In addition, it is not recommended to take more than 25 grams of chia seeds daily, due to its high fiber content.