The Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

chia seeds

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are considered to be one of the healthiest superfoods in the world. You have most likely heard about these amazing protein-packed foods, but they have been around longer than you realize. They are produced by a plant that is part of the mint family and native to both Mexico and Guatemala.

In the mayan language, chia, means “strength”, which is the perfect word to describe these foods. In ancient times, Mayan and Incan warriors consumed these high-quality seeds to sustain their energy during travel or battle. Only in recent years, the tiny black seeds have become popular worldwide. Chia seeds are the highest plant based source of protein in the world. They don’t come close to the amount of protein you would get from meat but are incredibly filling for a non-animal based source.

The Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds

Many runners take advantage of these seeds because of their high source of protein, fats, and antioxidants. This provides consumers with enough energy to finish their workout strong. Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fats, which has been proved to help reduce inflammation. Regular consumption of these seeds can prevent joint pain and arthritis while decreasing risks of heart disease.

Chia seeds are a healthy and natural supplement that can be used during weight loss due to its high fiber content. Foods that are high in fiber, keep you full for a longer period of time and helps cleanse the colon. You can essentially increase nutritional value to any dish by simply adding chia seeds. You can benefit from the healthy nutrients without feeling guilty. One tablespoon of chia seeds has less than 100 calories, which is enough to fuel your energy for the entire day. All high quality and pure chia seeds are grown organically, which makes them non-GMO foods. This makes them a great alternative for people who are gluten-free and dairy-free.

The Negative Health Effects of Chia Seeds

Although chia seeds have many health benefits, studies that found that some people can develop allergic reactions similar to mustard seeds. These symptoms can include skin rashes, hives, difficulty of breath and more.

Because chia seeds are high in fiber, overeating them has been known to cause gas and bloating. It’s important to discuss the use of chia seeds with your physician before including them in your diet.

Resources I Used: 

For more chia seed recipes go to http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/chia-seed-recipes/
And for additional information http://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/

Chia Seed Recipes

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup baby spinach, cooked
4 eggs
1 tomato, diced
¼ onion, chopped
5 mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoon chia seeds
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350
Pour olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the onions, mushrooms and spinach
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, vegetables and remaining ingredients
Whisk the egg mixture well until blended
Pour the mixture into muffin tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool

Avocado Chia Toast

Ingredients:

2 slices of whole wheat toast
½ avocado, sliced
10-15 grapes, sliced
10-16 cashews
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions:

Place 4 avocado slices on toasted bread
Add grapes and cashews
Sprinkle chia seeds
Enjoy!

Blueberry Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
½ cup chia seeds
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoon raw honey
½ cup almonds
1 cup blueberries

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine almond milk, chia seeds, and honey
Stir until mixed well
Set mixture in fridge overnight
Stir well and top with blueberries and almonds