Tiny but mighty

Small in size but packed with tons of nutrients, chia seeds offer a slew of health benefits. Here's a look at how to enjoy these tiny superstars

Posted on Mar. 3, 2017
By Editor

Why add chia seeds to your diet?
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, approximately 28g of chia seeds contain 138 calories, 8g of fat, 12g of carbohydrate, 11g of fiber, and 5g of protein, which is about 18% of daily calcium needs, 27% of phosphorus, 30% of manganese and smaller amounts of potassium, zinc and copper.

Stronger bones and teeth
Rich in calcium, manganese and phosphorus – a serving of chia seeds comprises 18% of the recommended daily intake for calcium and 30% of the recommended daily intake for manganese – which helps maintain bone and oral health, and prevents osteoporosis. Phosphorus is also essential for cell and tissue growth and repair.

Healthy digestive system
High in fiber, one serving of chia comprises 11g of dietary fibre – about one third of the recommended daily intake for adults. So by adding chia to your daily diet is a quick and easy way to ensure you get a good amount of fiber, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system.  

Keep hunger at bay
Chia seeds contain tryptophan – an amino acid which is said to help regulate appetite, sleep and improve one's mood.  

Improve heart health 
According to Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglycerides cholesterol.

A good source of protein
One serving of these super seeds is said to contain close to 5% of protein - nearly 10% of the daily value, which makes chia seeds a great source of protein, especially for vegetarians. 

Delicious ways to use chia seeds
OFeaturing a very mild, nutty flavour, chia seeds can be grinded or blended into foods, but should not be cooked as they will lose their nutritional benefits. They can be eaten raw, and will even add a nice crunch to your dish. When added to liquids, chia will take on a gel-like consistency, and swell to almost nine times their original size. Here are some ways you can incorporate chia seeds to your daily diet. 

Puddings 
A healthy and tasty way to enjoy chia seeds is to make them into puddings - simply soak them in coconut, soy or fresh milk overnight, and you'll get a dish that is a lot like tapioca pudding in texture. Add some spices or something sweet like honey or maple syrup, and you get a healthy breakfast or snack that tastes utterly delicious.

As a topping 
Add a nice crunch to your yoghurt or overnight oats by sprinkling some chia seeds over it just before eating.

Add them into baked goods
Add a healthy element to your muffins, cupcakes, pancakes or waffles by tossing in some nutritious chia seeds before you place them in the oven. Regardless where you add them to, they are bound to bring a pleasant crunch. 

COCONUT & CHIA YOGHURT FRUIT PARFAIT  
Prep 10 mins + soak Overnight • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 30g chia seeds
  • 50g instant rolled oats
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 150g plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp honey

Method

Step 1

Mix chia seeds, rolled oats, coconut milk, yoghurt and honey together.

Step 2

Seal in an airtight jar or container and leave in the fridge to soak overnight.

Step 3

To serve, create alternate layers of the chia seed yoghurt mixture with fruit puree, then top with diced fresh fruit.

DANIELA’S TIPS
Chia seeds deliver a massive amount of nutrients with very few calories. It is a great food for sporting activities. Chia seeds are also loaded with antioxidants and fibres.

MYKENZEN RECOMMENDATIONS
Fresh seasonal fruits either in whole or purée form will add nutritious antioxidants, vitamin C and flavonoids, which will slow down the signs of ageing.

Pelita Lim (Extracted from Mykenzen's Food For The Brain Book)

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