If you enjoy including chia seeds in your diet, you may have been wondering why over the past few months chia seeds have been so scarce. It seems 90% of the South American chia seed crop failed which obviously accounts for such a big shortage. The good news is, we’ve now been able to source organic chia seeds from Paraguay. I for one am happy, as I love including chia seeds in my morning breakfast regime whether it be in my muesli, my chia pudding or my super smoothie.
Over the past decade chia seeds have become a very popular healthy food option for many Australians and for good reason. Chia is an extremely nutritious seed originating from South America. In fact, it was a big part of the diet of the Aztecs and Mayans thousands of years ago.
Chia seeds are extremely nutritious providing protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Interestingly they provide 3 grams of omega-3 fats per 15gram serve, which makes them a rare rich vegetarian source of these important essential fatty acids. As we know Omega-3 fatty acids support heart health, joint, eye and brain health. They also contain omega-6 fats which are beneficial to our skin.
Chia seeds also contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fibre. Each 15 grams serve provides 6.2g of fibre. Soluble fibre is an important fibre which is believed to be helpful in maintaining normal healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibre helps maintain good bowel function.
Unlike many other vegetarian sources of protein, chia seeds contain all 8 essential amino acids.
Including 15 grams of chia seeds a day in our diet is easy adding them to drinks and food. They can be added to juices, smoothies, muesli, porridge, cakes, biscuits, muffins, bread – the list is endless. Because they go into a gelatinous state once soaked for a while, I have also seen them added to jam as a thickener and setting agent.
Because chia seeds swell when added to liquid, they can be quite helpful in a weight loss program. Many add them to their protein shake as they increase the feeling of fullness. Consuming chia seeds in liquid in the morning, whether it be in water, juice or a smoothie can give your digestion a kick start and improve your bowel movement.