Benefits of Chia Seeds and How to Use Them
Chia seeds are among those superfoods that we have heard very little about until recently. Now however, they are everywhere and lots of people enthuse about their benefits.
So what are chia seeds and how could you add them to your life in a beneficial way? Lets take a look at some of the most championed benefits of chia seeds and also look at some well-known as well as unique ways of using these popular seeds.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are edible seeds which come from a flowering desert plant called the Salvia hispanica, which is actually a part of the mint family. They originated in Central America and are believed to have been grown and used by the Aztec people. They are widely used in South America too, and have recently spread to many other parts of the world. Interestingly, Australia became the world's biggest producer of Chia seeds just a few years ago.
Some of the Known Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are incredibly rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They are also said to provide a huge amount of vital nutrients needed by the body but without giving you too many calories at the same time. They are commonly used as antioxidants and they are a fine source of fiber and protein. This makes them ideal if you are looking for a detox plan that will help you to feel good again.
Using Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
You should also be able to use chia seeds to help you to lose weight. One reason for this is that they are very filling. If you use them in energy bars or smoothies then you will get a lot of nutrients and feel full up without taking on board too many calories. They provide a lot of energy to get you through the day, which is why making a chia smoothie in the morning can help you to keep going without resorting to snacking later on in the day.
As a Replacement for Eggs
One of the most interesting ways of using chia seeds is as an egg substitute. This is a huge benefit for anyone who is vegan, has an egg allergy or for those who just want to find a healthier way of cooking. The seeds quickly take on a gel like texture when soaked in water and a very small amount of them can be used to replace an egg. You can then use them in baking, as a binding agent for meatballs or for just about anything else you would use an egg for.
Using Chia Seeds in Drinks
These little chia seeds are a popular addition to smoothies, while they are also used alone as a nutritional drink in some parts of the world. One issue you might find at first is that their high oil content gives your drink that same gel type texture that make them so useful as egg replacements. However, the huge amount of health benefits to be gained from using chia seeds means that it is worth making the effort to get used to it. You will find lots of chia smoothie recipes online but you could also simply add some to your favorite smoothies. It is best to start with a small amount of seeds until you get used to having them and then you can gradually build up your intake.
The good news is that you can use chia seeds in many different ways as well as those already mentioned. Some of these uses are very simple, such as sprinkling them on top of your breakfast cereal or using them to top yogurt. You can also add them to bread, biscuits or any other baked goods.
As we can see then, the benefits and uses of chia seeds are many and well-known. From weight loss to egg replacement and smoothies to baking, the use of chia seeds in daily life is on the rise and shows no signs of slowing down. They are not as expensive as you might think and with the growth of online shopping options available these days they are also easy to get hold of. So how long will you wait before you join the rest of the chia seed enthusiasts out there?