How To Prepare Chia Seeds And Their 7 Proven Health Benefits

If you have been wondering why in countries like Australia, America and the European countries chia seeds have exploded in popularity, let me fill you in.

Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. 

And what's more, Chia seeds are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet.
The seeds themselves do not have any readily sensable taste, so you can add them to pretty much anything.

They also don’t need to be ground, which makes them much easier to prepare. They can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to porridge and pudding, or added to baked goods. You can also sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables or rice dishes.

Because of their ability to absorb both water and fat, they can be used to thicken sauces and even used as egg substitutes in recipes. They can also be mixed with water and turned into a gel. Adding chia seeds to recipes will dramatically boost the nutritional value.

Here are 11 health benefits of chia seeds that are supported by human studies:

1. Chia Seeds Deliver a Massive Amount of Nutrients With Very Few Calories
Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern day superfood.
A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
  • ·        Fiber: 11 grams.
  • ·        Protein: 4 grams.
  • ·        Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
  • ·        Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • ·        Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • ·        Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • ·        Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.

They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

This is particularly impressive when you consider that this is just a single ounce, which supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate!

Just so that we’re all on the same page, 1 ounce equals 28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons. Interestingly… if you subtract the fiber, which may not end up as usable calories for the body, chia seeds only contain 101 calories per ounce.

To top things off, chia seeds are a “whole grain” food, are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten.

2. Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals in our bodies, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer. 

Chia seeds have antioxidants that protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid. When we eat the seeds, we ingest these antioxidants delivering immense health benefits to our bodies. There are some claims online about chia seeds having more antioxidants than blueberries, but I was unable find a study to verify this claim.

3. Almost All The Carbohydrates in Them Are Fibre
Looking at the nutrition profile of chia seeds, you see that an ounce has 12 grams of “carbohydrate.” However, 11 of those grams are fibber, which isn’t digested by the body.

Fibre doesn’t raise blood sugar, doesn’t require insulin to be disposed of and therefore shouldn’t count as a carb. The true carb content is only 1 gram per ounce, which is very low. This makes chia a low-carb friendly food.

Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach. Theoretically, this should increase fullness, slow absorption of your food and help you automatically eat fewer calories.

What this means is that if you are struggling with diabetes or you want to lose weight, then chia seeds should definitely make part of your diets.

4. Chia Seeds Are High in Quality Protein
Chia seeds contain a decent amount of protein. By weight, they are about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants.

They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids, so our bodies should be able to make use of the protein in them. Protein has all sorts of benefits for health. It is also the most weight loss friendly nutrient in the diet, by far.

A high protein intake reduces appetite and has been shown to reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and the desire for night time snacking by 50%.

Chia seeds really are an excellent protein source, especially for people who eat little or no animal products.

5. Chia Seeds Are High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Like flax seeds, chia seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon, the fish.

Currently, chia seeds are the richest know plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the Omega-3s in them are mostly ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), which makes them a little inferior to animal Omega-3s.

6. Chia Seeds May Improve Certain Blood Markers, Which Should Lower The Risk of Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes
Given that chia seeds are high in fibre, protein and Omega-3s, they should be able to improve metabolic health. This has been tested in several studies, but the results have been inconclusive.

In two studies, a diet with chia seeds, soy protein, oats and nopal, has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation.

The most successful application of chia seeds to date was in a study on type 2 diabetic patients. In this study, 20 diabetic patients received either 37 grams of chia seeds, or 37 grams of wheat bran, for 12 weeks.

When they got the chia seeds, they saw improvements in several important health markers. Blood pressure went down by 3-6 mm/Hg and an inflammatory marker called hs-CRP went down by 40%. A risk factor called vWF also decreased by 21%. There was also a small drop in blood sugar, but it wasn’t statistically significant.

7. They Are High in Many Important Bone Nutrients
Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The calcium content is particularly impressive… 18% of the RDA in a single ounce.

Gram for gram, this is higher than most dairy products. Chia seeds may therefore be considered an excellent source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy.

Read also:
- Chia Seeds Farming in Kenya: How Profitable Is It, Complete Guide on Growing It

- Chia Seeds Farming in Kenya: New HerbRich In Oil Has Great Income Potential

chia seeds farming guide pdf
As chia seeds become popular in Kenya, its cultivation becomes lucrative. This presents a great business opportunity. You can take advantage of this opportunity now while the demand is high. 

We have have compiled this comprehensive chia seeds farming guide for Kenya with step by step information from planting through to harvesting and marketing. 

It also contains budget estimates to help you in proper planning. It is now available on PDF so you can even read it from your phone while at the farm. You can request for your copy through our Resources Page

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