Did you know that Chia Seeds are one of the healthiest foods in the whole wide world? It’s true. For something so tiny, the Chia Seed is extremely nutrient dense – packing significant amounts of protein, omegas, fibre and anti-oxidants, to name a few.
“Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for ‘strength’ and it’s easy to see why.
What makes Chia Seeds so ‘strong?’
With 20g of protein per 100g, they deliver a high amount of protein, containing all 8 of the essential amino acids. If you’re active, you need protein to support your recovery, even more so if you’re weight training or doing a lot of high intensity, explosive exercise. The amino acid profile is an added bonus, ensuring you’re getting the aminos you need to stay strong while you train, and between sessions.
High in Fibre.
Chia seeds are rich in fibre – 38g per 100g to be exact. The high fibre content doesn’t raise blood sugar levels, and the majority of carbs are from the fibre itself. In the stomach, chia seeds expand, leading to a feeling of fullness. As such, they are a fantastic food for managing appetite.
Essential Fatty Acids.
Chia Seeds have been shown to increase blood levels of alpha-linoleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid which are associated with good heart health. Increased levels of Omega 3 are also associated with a reduction in triglycerides, a reduction in cholesterol and improved joint protection.
Lots of Iron & Magnesium.
A 20g serving of Chia Seeds contains twice as much Iron and Magnesium as spinach! Iron is a vital component of haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Sub-optimal levels of Iron can impact the amount of oxygen that is transported to the muscle during exercise – which can have a knock-on effect on performance.
Iron is also linked to the production of ATP, whereby the body’s ability to produce ATP efficiently is reduced if Iron is in short supply.
Magnesium has a number of important roles within the body, influencing things such as muscular contraction and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism, but also plays a pivotal role in both anaerobic and aerobic energy production.
Chia seeds are packed to the brim with antioxidants that help to protect the body against free radicals, reducing cell oxidative damage. In addition, this high antioxidant profile contributes to a long shelf life – making it an extremely convenient food to have in the kitchen.
Chia seeds do not discriminate. They are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as being gluten, dairy, soya and lactose free! Sprinkled on Complete Protein Porridge™, on top of yoghurt, added to a protein shake, scattered over salad or used in baking, Chia seeds are highly flexible.
Incorporating Chia Seeds in your diet.
If adding Chia Seeds to your protein shake seems a bit boring, why not try some of these creative recipe ideas instead?
Chia & Almond Protein Spread
Is it possible that something so simple and easy to make can be so tasty and nutrient rich? See for yourself!
Macros per serving: 144 calories, 6.3g protein, 4g carbs, 12.5g fats
Peanut Butter & Chia Seed Protein Bars
Here’s a super tasty and great breakfast, or snack alternative, for people on the move. Peanut Butter & Chia Protein bars – packing over 14.8g of protein and 15.6g of healthy fats per bar!
Macros per bar: 252 calories, 14.8g protein, 13.2g carbs, 15.6g fats
White Chocolate Chia Seed Smoothie
This White Chocolate Chia Smoothie recipe is an absolute doddle to make but not only that, each serving delivers a whopping 46g of protein, thanks to a scoop of white chocolate whey protein powder and a splash of liquid egg whites.
Macros per serving: 297 calories, 46g protein, 10g carbs, 7g fats
Protein Chocolate Fudge Coconut Chia Pudding
For something a little bit fancy, why not try your hand at these little marvels? These chocolate fudge coconut chia puddings are not only supremely delicious but they look fantastic too. Having a dinner party soon? Perfect – make some of these!
Macros per serving: 503 calories, 46g protein, 9g carbs, 27g fats