Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Chia Invasion

Many of us have heard about the numerous benefits of Chia seeds – from drinks to desserts, these tiny seeds have found their way into many of our diets.

From the Salvia hispanica plant, these seeds have quite a long history and many experts claim that they were used by Mayan and Aztec cultures for their power to heal.

So what’s the big deal? What makes these seeds so great for us?

In each 1 oz serving of chia seeds there are;
  • 138 calories
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 10 g of fiber
  • Significant amounts of calcium and omega 3s
These seeds can be eaten whole or ground – when combined with liquid the seeds swell and form a gel, and interestingly this gel can take the place of eggs in a recipe or of the ingredient pectin in jam!

Some claims out there imply that chia seeds have impact on controlling hunger and promotion of a healthy heart but there are still some inconsistencies. For example, only 3 of 4 published clinical trials showed health benefits (including weight loss, reduced blood sugar, and decreased triglyceride levels).

These seeds can be sprinkled on pretty much anything or added to puddings, yogurts, veggie patties, and can also be ground into flour to be used in baked goods etc.

There seem to be many potential benefits of these nutrient-packed seeds, so if there’s no harm in adding them to our diet then, why not?

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