Why You Should Try Chia Seeds Today


2016-12-28 14:51

If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet, here are a few reasons why you should pick up a bag today.

Those of a certain age probably think of the silly hair-growing pet trend when they hear the word “Chia”. Those seeds today are now the latest “superfood” – and with good reason. They are absolutely packed with good nutrition.

Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (a plant-based source, especially important for those who choose not to consume animal products or for those who cannot due to allergy or intolerance). They are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium.

Overweight or obese adults with Type 2 diabetes should be especially interested to learn that those who include chia seeds in their diet have shown greater improvements in body weight, waist circumference, and C-reactive protein levels.

In a recent small Canadian study, Vladimir Vuksan PhD and colleagues assigned 58 participants to a calorie restricted diet that either included chia seeds or oat bran. Both foods were provided either baked into a whole-wheat bread or offered as a topping for other foods. As noted, those who ate the chia seeds lost more weight, especially around their middles (where excess weight is a strong health threat).

C-reactive protein levels were lower. CRP is a blood test marker for inflammation in the body. Adiponectin levels were increased – this is a protein involved in regulating glucose levels and assists with fatty acid breakdown.

So how exactly do you eat a chia seed? Simply sprinkle a tablespoon or so onto your morning cereal or oatmeal or add into your yogurt or smoothies. Chia seeds form a gel when combined with water and this gel makes for a great egg substitute in baking breads and muffins. Just mix 1 tablespoon seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one egg in a recipe.

Chia Seeds also make for a great plant-based low-sugar pudding.

Journal Reference:
Chia seeds promote weight loss, improved body composition in type 2 diabetes, obesity
Vuksan V, et al. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2016;doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2016.11.124.

Additional Reference: Medical News Today

Photo Credit:
By Marco Verch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons