Chia Seed Benefits and How to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet
It’s probably safe to assume in today’s world that at least one of your friends, if not more of them, are obsessed with chia seeds and the benefits they are said to offer. It is said that chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients that our bodies need to be healthy. These seeds might be tiny, but they pack a powerful punch. Though no one wants to run around eating seeds all day, so many people aren’t aware of just how special these little seeds are. Luckily, there are quite a few ways that you can incorporate chia seeds into your diet. However, as with anything else that is good for you, there are going to be side effects and dangers if you eat too much, the same holds true for chia seeds as well.
In this blog, we will go into the biggest health benefits of the chia seed, give a few ways that you can add them to your diet, and even talk about a few of the side effects and dangers of eating too many of them. While this is more than a passing fad, these seeds can be dangerous if you overindulge.
With that in mind, join us on our journey to find out what the benefits of chia seeds are and how to add them to your diet to reap the rewards of those benefits. Ready? Then, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?
Benefits of Chia Seeds Explained
We will start our blog off with the many benefits that chia seeds provide for the body. Remember, however, that just adding these powerful little seeds to your diet is no substitute for exercise, eating right, and regular checkups with your primary healthcare provider. With that in mind, read on below for the benefits of chia seeds to be explained
Contains Rich Amounts of Nutrients
There are too many nutrients in these seeds to count, that is why they are called a miracle, super food by many who swear by eating them.
Chia seeds are packed with fiber, giving you five grams of fiber in just one spoon. This helps your digestion and lowers your cholesterol levels at the same time. It also helps you to keep your bowel movements regular and reduces the risk of diarrhea and constipation as well.
Helps to Fight Diabetes
Chia seeds are being studied now as a possible treatment for people who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. This is due to the ability of the seeds to slow down digestion.
For Stronger Bones and Teeth
Milk isn’t the only thing that can promote stronger teeth and bones, chia seeds can as well. Adding chia seeds to your diet can give you 18 percent of the recommended daily dose of calcium you need to grow big and strong. This means that they help with preventing osteoporosis, and helps you to maintain healthy bone and oral health as well. What’s not to love about that?
They Are a Great Source of Protein
Chia seeds are a great source of protein, something we all need to remain healthy and strong. The fact that the seeds are packed with such protein makes them the perfect choice for vegetarians since they don’t eat meat, but still, have to have the protein meat provides to stay healthy.
Helps to Fight Belly Fat
Chia seeds are said to have a stabilizing effect on your blood sugar, so it also fights insulin resistance, which can, in turn, help you to fight that belly fat you want to get rid of. Insulin resistance can also be harmful to your health, so eating chia seeds is a win-win in this situation.
Helps to Improve Heart Health
Studies have shown that chia seeds can help you to improve your heart health and lower your cholesterol as well. Anyone who has ever had high cholesterol or had heart problems can tell you exactly how important these things are to lower and take care of as well.
Great for the Picky Eaters in the Crowd
Since chia seeds are basically tasteless, it’s easy to hide them in other foods for the picky eaters in your family. As a matter of fact, many picky eaters don’t get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need to stay as healthy as they should, so chia seeds might be able to help. This is the perfect way to hide the healthy in the dish you’re serving without changing the taste, making this once again a win-win for everyone involved.
These are a few of the top benefits of chia seeds that you should know about. Now, we know that the benefits are plentiful and there is really no reason why you shouldn’t add these little seeds to your food. However, in moderation is the way to go, because too many of these seeds can be a very bad thing. With that being said, let’s move into the next section of our blog, the section on the side effects of these seeds so that you can avoid them.
Possible Side Effects of Chia Seeds Revealed
We all know that anything you eat needs to be eaten in moderation, from sweets to fruit and from veggies to chia seeds. That is because there can be side effects of too much of a good thing. There are also a few side effects that need to be revealed so that you are aware of them when adding these seeds to your diet. They are listed below as well.
Some People May be Allergic
Although it is rare, people have reported having allergic reactions to chia seeds. The symptoms of this food allergy could include vomiting, tongue and lips itching, and even diarrhea. In extremely rare cases, the seeds can lead to anaphylactic shock in some people, which can be fatal. If you have any of the above reactions when you eat chia seeds, it’s important to stop eating them right away and go seek medical help.
While the seeds are fine for most people, you may want to talk to your doctor before adding them to your diet as they can cause interactions with some medications, meaning that those medicines could become inactive. Below are a few of the medications that it has been reported you shouldn’t eat too many chia seeds with and be taking at the same time.
- Diabetes medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Other medications that might not have been reported yet
It is best to talk to your primary health care provider before adding chia seeds to your food, no matter what type of medication you are on. He can tell you if you need to be more careful or if you should avoid the seeds all around instead.
They Can be a Choking Risk
Though chia seeds are safe to eat for most people, they can actually be a choking risk. The risk comes because chia seeds are dry and when they get wet they swell up and absorb close to 12 times their weight, making them difficult to swallow. Be very careful when eating chia seeds and if you already have difficulties swallowing, talk to your doctor before adding them to your diet.
Can Cause Digestive Issues
While these seeds are chock full of fiber, the amount of fiber they have in them can cause digestive issues if you eat too many or eat them too often. These symptoms include bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. If you already have digestive issues, you need to limit your intake of these powerful little seeds.
Chia Seeds and Pregnant Women
While the effects of chia seeds on pregnant women aren’t completely known, most doctors advise women who are pregnant or nursing to stay away from the seeds altogether, just to be on the safe side.
These are a few of the side effects and dangers of eating too many chia seeds, even though they have been proven to have great benefits. Just be careful adding them to your diet and talk to your primary care provider before doing so.
Next up, we will talk about some of the ways that you can add chia seeds to your diet and reap the benefits without just eating the tasteless seeds themselves.
Top Ways to Add Chia Seeds to Your Family’s Diet
While chia seeds have been around for centuries and praised in other cultures for their energy and health benefits, the fact still remains that the seeds are tasteless and dry. With that in mind, we will give you a few awesome ways to add the seeds to your diet so your family will never even know they are there! How’s that for awesome?
Put them in Pudding
Chia seeds when soaked overnight end up in a pudding type form. Soak yours, add some artificial sweeteners and you’ll have a pudding your family will love and it will be good for them as well.
Put them in a Dip
Whether it’s guacamole or french onion, chia seeds can make it better. Mix up your favorite dip for your next gathering and add some chia seeds in. It won’t change the taste, but it will help the health of your family and guests.
Add them to Your Baked Goods
From muffins to cookies and from pies to cakes, these little seeds can add something to your baked goods and they are healthy for you as well. That is a win-win for sure, don’t you think?
Make a Smoothie
Many people don’t know that chia seeds make a great thickener. If you want your smoothies to be extra smooth and creamy try adding a few chia seeds when you’re making them. Everyone will be asking for the secret to your great smoothies, never knowing that they are healthier for them. It’s up to you whether you tell that secret or not!
Use them in Meatballs and Homemade Burgers
Most people use eggs or breadcrumbs to bind their meat together when making homemade burgers or meatballs. Chia seeds can do the same thing and they are healthier for you to boot. Next time, skip the eggs and the breadcrumbs and use these powerful seeds instead.
Add Crunch to Your Salads
Most people love crunchy foods and chia seeds certainly have a crunch. Instead of croutons or bacon bits garnish your salad with chia seeds. You’ll have the crunch you love, but it will be healthier for you or add them to the salad with the croutons and bacon bits for an extra crunching experience.
These are just a few of the ways that you can incorporate chia seeds into your diet, there are many, many more. Below we will list a few of those ways for your perusal.
Other Ways to Incorporate Chia Seeds into Your Diet
- Chia water
- Juice-soaked chia
- Use as raw chia toppings
- Chia cereal
- Chia truffles
- Add to a stirfry
- Add to salad dressings
- Use as a crispy crumb coating
- Mix them with other grains
- Use in breakfast bars
- Use in pancakes
- Make a jam
- Make chia protein bars
- Put in soups and gravies
- Use as an egg substitute
- Put in oatmeal
- Use to give a crunch to your yogurt
- Add to tea
- Make tortillas
- And much, much more
The possibilities for incorporating chia seeds into your diet are endless. Look online for some great recipes to help you add them to your diet and the foods you normally prepare.
Should You Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet?
The question of whether you should add chia seeds to your diet is a tricky one to answer. While they do have great health benefits, there is always the chance that you could be allergic or that you could eat too many of them without realizing it. The best way to answer this question is by visiting your primary health care provider and letting them help you make the right decision for your health needs.
This concludes our blog on chia seed benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet. We added in the side effects just so that you know. Do your research, visit your doctor, and then make the choice that is right for you!
- SF Gate: Top 10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Bustle: 5 Chia Seed Side Effects You Probably Weren’t Aware Of
- Eat This, Not That: 15 Awesome Ideas for how to Eat Chia Seeds