They may be small, but they’re mighty! Chia seeds are often dubbed a ‘superfood’ and they come packed with health benefits that can help to supercharge your diet. They’re a great plant-based, versatile ingredient, here’s why they deserve a place in your cupboard.
What Are Chia Seeds?
First things first, what are they and where do they come from?
Chia seeds come from the flowering Salvi hispanica plant, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. The name “chia” derives from the Mayan word for strength — Aztec cultures believed that these super-seeds gave them strength and stamina, which is a reputation that’s still pretty accurate today.
The Benefits of Chia Seeds
Source of Omega-3
One of the best-known health benefits of chia seeds is that they’re an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. This makes them a great addition to your diet if you’re vegan or vegetarian as omega-3 is most commonly found in fish, and so it’s hard to get enough of it if you’ve gone plant-based.
These fatty acids play a key role in preventing and managing heart disease, as they can lower triglyceride levels in your blood. They’re also known for having anti-inflammatory effects, making them useful for joint pain and arthritis.
Some studies have also shown that there’s a link between cultures with high omega-3 in their diets and low levels of depression.
Source of Protein
Chia seeds are also an excellent source of protein — our Organic Chia Seeds contain 22g of protein per 100g — which is essential for the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue.
This is another reason why they’re such a useful ingredient for vegetarians and vegans, as they’re a powerful plant-based source of protein to help you hit daily requirements.
Source of Fibre
Chia seeds are an amazing source of fibre which is a really important part of a balanced diet. It’s needed to keep your digestive system running as it should, and to keep you regular.
It can also help to regulate your blood sugar levels and has been shown to lower cholesterol too.
Source of Minerals
On top of all that, our Organic Chia Seeds contain potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
These are essential nutrients that can help with the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and magnesium is also involved with muscle function and protein synthesis.
Another, more practical, benefit of chia seeds is that they can soak-up up to 12 times their weight in water, so they’re great to add to soups, smoothies and sauces to thicken them without using corn starch or flour.
How To Use Chia Seeds
These little guys are so versatile that you can easily find a way to get them into your diet that works for you. Here are just some of our suggestions:
✓ Sprinkle dry chia seeds on your salad
✓ Mix chia seeds into your yoghurt
✓ Soak in water to make ‘chia pudding’
✓ Add to breadcrumbs for extra texture
✓ Add to your overnight oats
✓ Blend into your smoothies