- are high in protein (15-25%) so help with building all of our cells, maintaining muscle mass and are helpful in blood sugar regulation
- high in fiber (18- 30%), which is good for our digestive system
- contain anti-oxidants to help maintain a youthful complexion and clear free radicals that cause damage to cells
- do not contain gluten so great for those that are gluten sensitive
- contain healthy fats that help to decrease bad cholesterol
- sprinkle on oats/muesli in the morning, or add them to your favourite recipes. They don't have a strong taste so can be added to anything savoury or sweet.
There are so many different types of chia seed on the market though. So how do we choose the right brand so we are really getting the nutritional value from them? Here are some tips:
- chia grown in warmer climates are found to have higher fatty acid concentration (http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2012/171956/ as this is what has been shown to contribute to its health benefits, make sure your seeds have been grown in a warm area.
- If the seeds come from far away the healthy fatty acids will have deteriorated. The fatty acid content decreases about 25% from early stage to fully matured seed. So young seeds grown locally in a warm climate are the best, although you will still get some health benefit from a seed that is not fully mature.
- A lot of countries including Australia now grow their own chia seeds. If in doubt, check the packet as to where the seeds are grown and if in an Organic store ask everything about the product. If you're paying more for organic then you should know if you are getting the best quality product.
For recipe ideas for chia seeds please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this blog.
Yours in health