The Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds

October 15, 2013

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia

At the #OH2013 National Conference, Michelle English, BSN gave a very enlightening and informational presentation in a breakout session that she hosted on Incorporating Nutrient Dense Whole Foods into the Bariatric Diet. The room was packed and all who attended left her session all the better for it.

As some of you may or may not know, Michelle underwent gastric bypass in 2006 and has lost 172 pounds! Her WLS journey and new lifestyle left her craving foods that were more satisfying than the same old protein shakes and foods that typically line the shelves of most WLS post-ops.  So what did Michelle do about it?  She went back to school to educate herself about real nutritional benefits and got her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Culinary Arts!  She was for sure 100% committed to living a healthier lifestyle and recognized that the surgery was just a tool.  The rest was up to her! (Congrats Michelle!)

So anyway, back to her breakout session.  One of the many interesting and surprising things I learned from Michelle last Saturday had to do with the health benefits of chia seeds. I had heard that chia seeds helped to reduce food cravings... but I had no idea of the many advantages of incorporating them into your diet and of the seeds superfood status.

What are Chia Seeds?

Native to South America, Chia seeds come from a flowering plant called the Salvia hispanica which is in the mint family. The chia plant can grow up to almost three and half feet tall and it's flowers are purple or white. The seeds have a nutty taste to them and can be eaten raw.

Health Benefits of the Superfood Seed!

According to Michelle, one tablespoon of chia seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk and more omega-3s than salmon!  Not only that, they are rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of fiber.  They also contain essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins A, E, D, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, Copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, niacin, and thiamin.

Incorporating Chia Seeds Into Your Diet

You can add chia seeds to yogurt, puddings, oatmeal, jelly, baked goods, eggs, protein shakes, and so much more. You can also use them as a thickener for gravy or soups and as an egg substitute.  If your recipe calls for an egg, you can take one tablespoon of chia seeds (finely grounded) and mix it with three tablespoons of water. (When mixed with the water, the outer layer of the seeds swell and form a gel!)  Let the mixture set for 15 minutes and then add it to your recipe instead of an egg!

The Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seed gelatin and chia seeds

Did You Know?

Chia seeds help to:
-reduce blood pressure
-aid in digestion
-lower cholesterol
-boost your energy
-create satiety
-regulate blood sugars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tammy J. Colter has proudly served the ObesityHelp community since 1999, helping members and professionals alike. Tammy wears many hats at ObesityHelp, she works as an author, editor, and account manager.

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What is your favorite way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet?