The low down on chia seeds

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Chia seeds are in the health-hype spotlight at the moment, but is all the attention warranted? In this case, we believe the hypesters have it right (and yes, hypesters is a word I made up).

Derived from a flowering plant belonging to the mint family (Salvia hispanicus), these lightweight seeds are definite contenders for the heavyweight nutrition category.

With zero sugar and cholesterol, a mere 15gm serving size provides the following:

  • 3gm protein (a boon for vegans/vegetarians)

  • 5.1gm fat (healthy fats, primarily omega 3)

  • 3.4gm dietary fibre

  • Significant amounts of calcium and magnesium

As with any new ‘superfood’ introduced to our culture (chia has been used traditionally in other parts of the world for thousands of years), proceed with caution. Although initial research indicates chia promotes weight loss, and healthy fat and blood sugar levels, keep in mind that there is a paucity of research on the long term benefits/effects of chia seeds on humans.

It has been suggested to avoid eating the seeds dry as the expansion once swallowed can cause health complications (in people with a history of difficulty in swallowing, and oesophagus constrictions); if at risk, ensure the bulk of the chia seeds you consume have been soaked and had time to ‘gel’ (expand). The general population, however, appears to be safe from these dangers and may benefit from the inherent goodness of chia.

They are versatile, quick and easy to prepare, and can be utilised in an endless variety of recipes. If you’re new to chia seeds, here are a few recipes ideas to get you started:

Spiced berry chia pot

Chocolate chia pancakes

Chocolate chia pancakes

Chocolate chia pancakes

Chia coconut ice blocks

Chia choc berry super smoothie

Enjoy, in moderation 🙂

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