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Friday 9 October 2015

Chia Seeds : Health Benefits : Blueberry and Cinnamon Chia Pots

I read this article by Laurentine at Food Matters with interest and thought it one to share.

"Chia seeds have so many health benefits! They are one of the world’s oldest sources of nutrition, documented to have been eaten by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans as early as 3500 BC and even used for medicinal purposes. 

Today, thanks to their wide-spread availability, they’re a powerhouse addition to anybody's diet! Rich in nutrients and so easy to use, they also have an amazing ability to absorb water and fat, so they can be used to thicken sauces too!

Here are fourteen proven health benefits of chia seeds:

1. They Are Rich In Antioxidants.
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants which helps fight free radical damage in the body, but also helps to prevent the healthy fats from going rancid in the seeds. You also don't need to grind them to a meal like you do with flax-seeds to get the most benefits!

2. Chia Seeds Are Typically Non-GMO And Grown Organically.
Chia seeds are organic, raw, Non-GMO, non-irradiated, and produced without pesticides which means they’re one of the world’s purest seeds, so you can eat them without worrying about consuming harmful pesticide residues!

3. Chia Seeds Are Suitable For A Low Carb Diet.
If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, then chia seeds are your friend! The net carb content is only 1 gram per ounce, which is really low! Plus, as chia seeds contain so much fiber, they can also help you stay full for longer - supporting any weight loss efforts, or simply curbing those hunger pangs.

4. They’re Good For Your Digestive System.
The fiber in chia seeds also help to support your digestive system. Feeding the bacteria in the intestine, which helps them to thrive and nourish your body with essential compounds for immunity and overall health.

5. Chia Seeds Are A Great Source Of Plant Protein.
These tiny little seeds are about 14% protein, which is high compared to most plants! A diet higher in protein has been shown to help reduce appetite, improve muscle repair, and even curb night-time snacking by 50%!

6. Trying To Lose Weight? 
Add Chia!
Due to the protein and fiber content of chia, as well as its ability to absorb a stack of water (hello tummy-filling power!), chia seeds make a great addition to your diet if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight. 

7. Chia Seeds Support Healthy Bones.
Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than most dairy products providing 18% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults in a single ounce! As well as being high in several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.

8. They Help To Detoxify The Body.
As the highest combined plant source of omega-3, fibre and protein, chia seeds are a great addition to your detoxification efforts. They help support your body’s natural detoxification pathways, repair your cells, reduce inflammation and support a healthy digestive system.

9. They're A Natural Beauty Food!
The blend of nutrients in chia seeds such as healthy fats, protein and minerals including zinc help promote healthy skin, hair and nails.

10. Protect Your Heart With Chia.
Just one tablespoon of chia will provide you with 100% of your daily requirement for omega-3 ALA. Research shows that plant-based omega-3 is essential for a healthy heart by helping to lower cholesterol while maintaining proper artery function. Both omega-3 ALA and DHA (found in oily fish) are vital in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, and chia has plenty!

11. Reduce Your Risk Of Colon Cancer.
With 36% fiber content and a perfect balance of 80% insoluble versus 20% soluble, chia helps lower cholesterol, improves intestinal health and regularity and can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

12. Reduce Your Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome.
Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber which dissolves in water, swelling to form a gel-like substance. This helps to improve your heart health by keeping blood sugar spikes at bay and lowering cholesterol.

13. Chia Seeds Are Gluten-Free.
That means Coeliacs and those intolerant to gluten are also able to enjoy the benefits of these super seeds! Plus they don’t come with the potentially damaging effects of gluten when consumed in excess.

14. Chia Seeds Are Great For Those With Diabetes.
A study in those with Type 2 Diabetes showed that chia seeds can significantly lower blood pressure and a marker for inflammation."

Now how about this lovely recipe idea using Chia seeds

Blueberry and Cinnamon Chia Pots

¼ cup Coconut cream
1 tbsp Chia seeds
Blueberries, cinnamon, Just nuts (optional)

Stir chia seeds and coconut cream together and let sit for around 30 mins. The Chia seeds will expand and soften. Cinnamon is a great blood sugar stabiliser and adding Just nuts adds flavour to everything.

Nutrition Information
Serves: 1

Serving size: 1
Calories: 312
Fat: 18.0g
Saturated fat: 11.3g
Carbohydrates: 2.5g
Sodium: 15mg
Protein: 3.5g

Original recipe idea can be seen at Julia's blog here

Hope you've found this article of interest - thanks for reading

All the best Jan


Jo said...

I've never heard of chia seeds, I expect you'd find them in health food stores?

Red Rose Alley said...

I've always wondered what the Chia seeds are, Jan. I didn't realize they go that far back in history and were used for healing purposes. Thanks for sharing this info. with us. :)


Debbie said...

this is a very interesting read!!! i like when you include a picture of what you are making but perhaps that's just me. i am a very visual person!!!!

chris c said...

I've heard of them but never tried any. Now I will.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for your comment Jo
In the UK Holland and Barratt usually have a good selection of Chia seeds ...

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for your comment Sheri.
It is amazing how far back some of our foods go ... glad you found this article interesting.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for your comment Debbie.
I do think a picture helps ... and those Chia pots are very tasty!

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for your comment Chris.
Chia seeds have certainly gained in popularity - do give them a try and let us know what you think!

All the best Jan

The Happy Whisk said...

Woohoo. I use chia seeds daily and if you have a spice grinder, it's easy to make chia flour. So much fun to work with.

Wishing you the best. Cheers and boogie boogie.

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh Ivy, I thought of you when I was getting this post ready!
I know you like your seeds ... so a massive 'Cheers and boogie boogie' to you.

Take Care, and have a good week.

All the best Jan

The Happy Whisk said...

I do love them, you know, I cannot help myself in the bulk bin area. If there's a seed that I haven't tasted or made into flour yet, I gotta give it a go.

Lowcarb team member said...

Ivy, I know you love them ... and it's always good to read your blog, especially when you give things a go. I say three cheers for chia and a lot of other seeds too!

All the best Jan