While chia might sound unfamiliar, these black and white seeds have numerous health benefits.Unlike flaxseeds, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled. They have a mild, nutty flavour, which can easily be added to foods and beverages. Even the oil extracted from this seed is proved to be beneficial due to its antioxidant, fibre and amino acid content.
The seeds are gelatinous in nature and once soaked in water, they absorb almost 12 times their weight of water and form a gel. Hence, when consumed, they form a gel in the stomach to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and simple sugars. Being a good source of fibre, it fills up the stomach faster, offers a good level of satiety and stops one from over-eating. This also ultimately helps one lose those extra kilos.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants like Omega-3 fatty acids. Hence, they protect us against inflammation, especially in case of arthritis and heart diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in blood, thus guarding against various heart diseases. It has a stock of important vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and manganese which help maintaining the health of bones and teeth in good condition. Manganese also helps in preventing hypertension and improves energy metabolism, which indirectly assists in weight management!
So, how can one incorporate these nutritious seeds in the diet?
Sprinkle them on your breads and pizzas
Sprinkle them in your drink and let them soak for about 10 minutes. They will form a gel and will add a nice texture to your drink.
They can also be eaten raw.
They are perfect in porridges and puddings.
So, enjoy the benefits of these small, crunchy seeds innovatively in your diet!!