Chia is a variety of sage grown in the central valley of Mexico and found in the form of tiny seeds that often tend to brown in color. If these small seeds have been part of the South American diet for ages, in Europe chia seeds have only been used for a few years. But since they emerged from anonymity, their success has only grown! And for good reason: chia seeds are part of the beautiful family of superfoods, which means that despite their small size, they are ideal for filling up with many nutrients (proteins, fibers, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, antioxidants…) ! Not to mention that they are not at all caloric, and that they are incorporated very easily into daily cooking.
But before sprinkling it in our yogurts and salads , it might be interesting to look at the beauty, health and slimming benefits of chia seeds.
1. They aid digestion
First good point to give to chia seeds: these small seeds are very rich in soluble dietary fiber. Indeed, with less than 30 g of chia seeds, we manage to fill 1/3 of the recommended daily fiber intake for an adult. Not bad is not it ?
Especially since this richness in fiber allows chia seeds to promote digestion and gently boost slightly lazy transits… Many constipated people swear by chia seeds to get their digestive system back on track.
And who says better digestion says flatter stomach, and less bloating and gas after the meal. Youhoo!
2. They suppress hunger
Chia seeds can be great allies for those watching their line or wanting to lose weight. Yes: they may be tiny, but these seeds have incredible satiating power.
Indeed, once consumed, chia seeds have the particularity of swelling on contact with a liquid present in our stomach. As a result, even after a frugal meal, you feel like your stomach is full, and you feel full for a long time. No more question of giving in to the sirens of snacking and cravings between meals! And when we stop snacking, the results are visible very quickly on our silhouette.
3. They pamper the bones
To have healthy bones and teeth (and limit the risk of osteoporosis) you need… calcium of course! Yes, but it’s not easy to fill up on calcium when you’re not a fan – or even intolerant – of dairy products. Well, again, chia seeds can help us because they have a very high calcium content.
Indeed, 100 g of these small seeds can cover no less than 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium for an adult. If we want to have a skeleton and teeth at the top, we know what we have to do: take the seed… of chia!
4. They are very high in protein
When we think of “protein”, the first food that comes to mind spontaneously is often meat. And yet, we can never repeat it enough, it’s not just carnivores who can benefit from a protein-rich diet! The proof with chia seeds, since 100 grams of these small seeds contain 23% protein and cover about 10% of the recommended daily protein intake… And all that without containing any more cholesterol!
As a reminder, it is thanks to proteins that our body manages to create new cells (which will allow us to renew our skin, our nails, our muscle tissue, our hair, etc. on a daily basis and to defend ourselves against diseases.
5. They protect the heart
Chia seeds are a food that you really have to put on the menu when you want to have a healthy heart. And this for two reasons. The first: chia seeds are very rich in omega 3 (more than salmon!), a fatty acid well known for its benefits on cardiovascular health.
Second reason: chia seeds have a very high antioxidant content, which allows them to regulate blood pressure, and help our body fight against cardiovascular disease.
Chia seeds, real heart assets of our body!
6. They regulate blood sugar
The fact that – due to their high fiber content – chia seeds, once in our stomach, form a layer of gelatin with the liquid therein, is not only of slimming appetite suppressant interest.
Indeed, this phenomenon also allows the level of sugar in the blood (glycaemia) to stabilize, without the creation of blood sugar peaks in the body. This is why chia seeds are used today in many clinical trials and research relating to the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
7. They nourish the skin
Surprise: chia seeds do not only have health benefits, they also have very interesting beauty virtues. Thus, they are highly recommended for people who have very dry skin, or damaged or painful nail cuticles. To do this, it’s simple: we can incorporate some of them into our usual moisturizer to boost its nourishing power!
And as chia seeds contain a lot of omega 3, their consumption also helps to fight against small redness and other inflammations of the skin.
Morality: to find hydrated and soft skin, long live chia seeds!
8. They help you sleep well
Like their friends flax, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, poppy or sesame seeds, chia seeds are foods very rich in tryptophan. As a reminder, tryptophan is an amino acid that allows our body to synthesize melatonin… a hormone that is also known by the sweet name of the sleep hormone!
So if you are looking for a natural trick to find the arms of Morpheus and a restful sleep, do not hesitate to sprinkle some chia seeds in a light salad at dinner time!
9. They boost our brain
The brain is an essential organ in the body since it is responsible for all its vital functions. It is therefore necessary to do everything to pamper it and maintain it on a daily basis. Well again, chia seeds can help us with that!
How ? Quite simply thanks to their richness in omega 3 and omega 6, polyunsaturated fatty acids which help our brain to function optimally, but which also serve to build the cell membranes of the cerebral system. Thanks to chia seeds, our brain can run at full speed without any problem!
10. A good alternative to eggs and gluten
As we saw earlier, chia seeds can be a good alternative to meat as they are very high in protein. But they can also be interesting for people intolerant to gluten and eggs.
Indeed, even if chia seeds have the texture and the benefits of many cereals, they do not contain gluten!
Similarly, you should know that many people who are vegetarian or intolerant to eggs use chia seeds to replace them in many cooking or baking recipes.
But how on earth could seeds replace eggs? Well because once soaked in water or another liquid, they form a gelatinous layer that is very easy to work with!