So we’ve heard how chia seeds are good for us. But just what health benefits do these mighty little seeds actually pack? Here’s what science tells us about chia seeds, and how making them part of our daily diet is a good idea.
1. You’ll feel more energetic throughout the day
Containing a high ratio of protein-per-calorie, these little seeds are in fact mightier than eggs considering how much protein they pack. Taking them as part of your breakfast means you’ll feel more fired up throughout the day, due to their slow release of energy.
Chia seeds tend to absorb water many times their size, making them a good source of fuel and hydration for your muscles. This is great news for us, because with the heat in Singapore, this allows us to keep our bodies happy and healthy.
2. Get your fibre on
Chia seeds are high in fibre, making you feel full sooner, and helping your body’s insulin levels regulate better. We like how they reduce the rate of sugar absorption in our bodies. Having a high fibre content also means better bowel movements – we’re talking 40% fibre here so, what’s not to love?
A gelatin-like substance appears when chia seeds meet water. This gel-like paste acts as a prebiotic, and provides nutrition for the good bacteria in your gut. Chia seeds have insoluble and soluble fibre, the latter can be broken down by bacteria in our gut, which leads to lowered risks of inflammation and prevents conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Chron’s disease. In other words, the good bacteria in our guts need energy and chia seeds function as prebiotics for them to get fed.
3. Look forward to better skin
Among many other essential minerals, chia seeds are rich in anti-oxidants, which helps your skin repair faster while being protected from premature ageing. It also reduces the risk of inflammation, regulates cholesterol, and lowers blood pressure. Scientists have also discovered significant quantities of omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds.
The seeds are calcium-rich, helping to maintain healthy bone mass and strength. Studies have shown they contain up to almost five times the amount of calcium found in milk.
4. They keep you hydrated all day
The best part? Eating chia seeds ensures that you stay hydrated all day, as the seeds can absorb almost ten times their weight in water.
This also means it’d be a good idea to soak them before consuming, although you can have them as is too. Soaking them for up to an hour gives you the nutrients from the seeds at their most optimal state. If you’re eating chia seeds straight from the pack without soaking, be sure to drink plenty of water because the seeds will be absorbing water from you otherwise.
What better way to discover the health benefits of Chia seeds than by trying them out? Some dislike the sticky pudding-like nature of chia seeds in water, so we browsed the market for yummy chia seed recipes, and picked our top four food ideas that we think you’d love just as much we do.
Try: Chia Seed Ice-Cream
This idea makes good use of the gel-like nature of Chia seeds after they’ve been soaked in water. Here, you’d need to soak the seeds overnight in milk, adding honey as you wish for taste. You can add cocoa powder and melted unsweetened chocolate at this point. The next morning, blend the mixture until it’s smooth. This mixture can then be poured into an ice cream maker, where it gets churned into tasty goodness. Have a go – you’ll see why Chia seeds make an excellent ingredient for ice cream.
Try: Chia Seed Salad Crunch
The idea here is to shower your salad with a generous dose of chia seed sprinkles – it’s like rainbow sprinkles minus the sugary risks.
Try: Chia Seed Energy Bars
Did you know you can make your own fuel bars to take with you while on the go? Use agave nectar as the binding ingredient, and pick your mix. We opt for almonds, chia seeds, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries.
Try: Chia Seed Yogurt Smoothie
Instead of milk, use plain unsweetened yoghurt and water. Pour in chia seeds and fresh fruits, followed by a small amount of honey for taste. Blend the mixture and serve chilled.