Chia seeds are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber and antioxidants – which is why these small seeds have been classified as a superfood in the health community! It holds major health benefits and is a great source of magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc. This nutritional punch manages healthy blood sugar levels – ultimately curbing cravings and preventing overeating. Chia seeds can give you an effective energy boost and speed up your metabolism.

1. Chia is a great replacement for gluten – That’s right! Chia seeds do not contain any gluten! It is particularly helpful in gluten-free and vegan baking as both a binder and egg substitute. If you are gluten intolerant and/or plant-based, chia seeds are a fantastic alternative as it’s extremely high in fibre which is important for digestive health.

2. Chia seeds are full of brain benefiting nutrients – The brain needs a good balance of antioxidants, fatty acids and protein to function properly. Omega-3 ALA (or Alpha Lipoic Acid) and Omega-6 fatty acids form an integral part of brain function – you need to consume it as your body can’t produce it naturally.

3. Chia and your skin – Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and have a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It contains high amounts of vitamin e with moisturizing and restorative properties. This means that besides helping to avoid those ageing lines, it also hydrates your skin from within leaving you with a youthful glow. According to Natural Living Ideas, applying chia seed oil topically is a better way to enhance rapid results.

4. Chia combats cancer – Although chia is primarily used to treat and prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry found that ALA limited the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancers. According to Livestrong, a small study suggests that it may also have anti-cancer properties. More specifically, when it comes to glandular tissue and the breast. Therefore, chia may be helpful to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Consult a doctor before taking chia seeds to treat or prevent cancer, as well as any other medical condition.

How to prepare chia seeds:

The best thing about chia is that it’s so versatile! It can be used in a variety of recipes. You can sprinkle chia over yoghurt or salad, added to a smoothie or just enjoy as is. When the seeds are placed in liquids, it will create a gel-like substance, making it great to use in puddings or oatmeal. It has a mild nutty flavour that makes it a perfect accompaniment to any dish. Chia seeds can be ground up into a flour and unlike flax seeds, it needn’t be pre-ground to receive its health benefits. There is no recommended daily dosage, but a heaped tablespoon per day is plenty. Chia seeds will last up to 4 years if stored properly according to its label.

For a delicious healthy chia breakfast recipe, click here.

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