Chia seeds are one of the most nutritious ingredients on the planet. Truly whole grain, packed with fiber, protein, and a long list of micronutrients. Plus, they are perfect for those of us following the paleo diet.
What exactly are the benefits of this versatile superfood? Here are our top 4 reasons why chia seeds should become part of your paleodiet.
1. Fiber for Digestive Health
One ounce of chia seeds (about 2 tablespoons) has 11 grams of fiber. That gets you nearly halfway to your recommended daily intake for the day! Fiber regulates your digestive system and keeps you, ahem, regular! It can also help lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood sugar.
2. Big Energy Boost with Less Sugar
So, you're heading out for an epic workout. Don't reach for a sugary sports drink, grab a chia drink instead! The Journal of Strength and Conditioning tested a group of endurance athletes working out for 90 minutes or more. Half the athletes drank only Gatorade while the other half drank a 50/50 split of Gatorade and chia drink. No change in energy levels was seen between the two groups, but those in the chia group consumed half the amount of sugar.
3. They are Incredible Versatile
Chia seeds alone have a mild nutty flavor. Nothing special, right? But, chia seeds take on the flavors and improve the texture of the foods you mix them with. Yummy! They act as a thickening agent, which makes chia seeds your secret paleo diet weapon!
Add to mashed berries and you've got the quickest, freshest jam - without added sugar. Use as breading with cheese for the crispiest,crunchiest chicken tenders you've ever had. Open up your dessert and smoothie world to the wonder of chia puddings! There are so many delicious ways to incorporate chia seeds into your diet. Check out our recipe section for some great ideas!
4. Can Improve Heart Health and Fight Diabetes!
A university study in Argentina has found that chia seeds prevented forced metabolic disorders in rats. Some subjects actually had effects completely reversed! But, despite positive studies like these, the jury is still out on the level of impact chia seeds may have on heart disease and Diabetes. What we do know is that chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids, all of which doctors recommend including in ones diet to stay heart healthy. Their ability to transform foods into desserts with little sugar and no eggs makes keeping to a healthy diet easier.
We're still finding out so much more about the benefits of these amazing little seeds! Now is the time to start including them in your diet.