As a person that considers himself an athlete, well-balanced superfoods easily find their way into my grocery list. Chia seeds are by far one of the healthiest foods to add to anyone’s daily diet because of its macronutrient profile. It’s one of the most nutrient-packed plant-based food that can improve a person’s diet with only just a few teaspoons. Here’s how chia seeds have gotten its name as a “superfood” and how you can add this food to your diet.
What Are They?
Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia Hispania, which is found predominantly in southern Mexico. This food has a long history with Mayans and Aztecs— “chia” is actually the Mayan word for “strength,” and was often used by many warriors to provide sustainable energy throughout an entire day away from the rest of their camp. Chia seeds were even used for currency at one point—imagine harvesting chia seeds the way we harvest bitcoin!
It’s also been known as a “runner’s food,” a food lightweight and easy to pack while able to pack a great deal of energy.
The nutrient profile of Chia seeds per ounce (28 g or about two tablespoons):
Calories: 138 (36% carbs, 53% fats, 11% proteins)
Carbohydrates: 12.3g, 11g fiber
Fat: 9g, 5g of which are omega-3 fatty acids
Hearty doses of magnesium, manganese,and phosphorus
Also include: calcium, zinc and antioxidants
Glycemic load: 1
Benefits of Chia Seeds
There are tons of advantages that come from eating chia seeds. Since they’re packed with tons of antioxidants, eating chia seeds helps to reduce signs of aging and preserve skin health. Chia seeds have also been proven to aid in reversing type 2 diabetes. The high calcium content helps to remineralize and build strong bones. The high fiber content helps the heart and blood circulation, improving body function and helping to regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure—blood flow also helps to reduce inflammation, a key aspect to improving muscle recovery and reducing time spent away from the gym. Needless to say, chia seeds are great for athletic performance as well as aiding in helping individuals in losing weight.
Chia seeds are also one of the top protein-producing plant-based foods on the planet. This is very helpful for transitioning vegans not familiar with a vegan diet.
Ways to Add Chia Seeds to the Diet
Incorporating chia seeds into a diet is easy. Although some have said they hint at a nutty flavor, they don’t really have much taste so they can go on a variety of foods. You can sprinkle chia seeds over cereal, oatmeal, non-dairy yogurt, smoothies, non-dairy shakes, rice, salads, and nutrition bars, or you can bake them into vegan cupcakes and bread.
Chia seeds can also be soaked in liquids for 30 minutes to produce a gel; any flavored drinks will do. This gel increases the seed’s fiber content and further aids in digestion. In this state, chia seeds can last two weeks in the fridge.
When dry, chia seeds can be stored for very long periods of time, making it perfect food for the impending zombie apocalypse—make sure you have your battle axes and dried food preserves ready!
Go Get You Some Seeds!
My personal favorite way of eating chia seeds is adding them to my oatmeal in the mornings and adding them to my post-workout protein shakes. It’s given me great results, and I now swear by it, suggesting chia seeds to everyone any chance I get. See for yourself!
How do you like your chia seeds? Share with our community in the comments below!
Photo by Brenda Godinez