I’m not sure when I first became aware of chia seeds, but I do know that I’ve been adding them to a few smoothies, juices and granolas for a while. I was speaking to my friend Emily recently, telling her to add some chia seeds to her porridge because they’re good for you, but when she asked why they’re good for you, I drew a blank.
Erm, they just are, I said.
But I started to do some research. Why was I sprinkling little seeds over m any dishes, what exactly were the health benefits.
Did you know that chia is the Mayan word for ‘strength’!
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
- They are high in protein, great for vegans and veggies, as well as helping you feel fuller for longer. There’s 4g of protein in each 28g serving of chia seeds.
- They’re high in fibre- again this helps you feel more satiated and helps keep things regular. You can get a third of your recommended daily intake of fibre through 2tsps chia seeds.
- They are a source of iron, fab for women and athletes especially.
- They are a source of calcium – great for bones, teeth and blood clotting
- They are a source of magnesium – helps turn food into energy your body can use
- Importantly, they’re also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, something that many people don’t eat enough of, especially vegans and veggies. Gram for gram they contain more omega 3s than salmon!
- They are high in antioxidants, fighting the production of free radicals and all those horrid things that cause ageing and cancer.
- They’re a wholegrain, which many people don’t get enough of in their diet.
- They’re naturally gluten free – not exactly a health benefit but good to know.
Chia seeds can be used in place of eggs, simply mix 1tbsp chia seeds with 3tbsp water and leave for 15min. Use these in baking and savoury dishes, such as these meatballs!
I’ve added a huge tub of chia seeds to my store cupboard at home, and am looking for ways to sneak them in to numerous meals. Here are some of my favourite Chia Seed recipes from the web, showcasing the numerous ways in which these amazing little seeds can be used.
Chocolate and avocado chia seed pudding from theironyou.com
Banana Peanut Butter Chia Seed Muffins from the tablespoon.com
Have you/do you use chia seeds when you cook? Will you be adding them to your next shopping order now? I’d love to hear if you make any of these awesome recipes! I am particularly excited to make the chia seed jam and the mocha brownies!