I am a huge fan of chia seed. Chia is an ancient superfood staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures which means means 'strength' in Mayan so it is not surprising that they have earned the nickname 'Indian Running Food'.
Here are seven reasons why you should love them too;
1. Feel full for longer - when immersed in liquid, the chia seed releases a gel like substance (stick with me here) which is calorie-free yet increases the size and weight of the seed. This means it keeps you feeling fuller for longer meaning that your body feels sustained and therefore you don't feel the need to eat, eat, eat!
2. Stable blood sugar and energy levels - The seeds unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down the body's conversion of starches into sugars meaning that it keeps your blood sugar stable which is most definitely what we want to encourage if we are to reduce the body's cellular inflammation response.
3. Complete protein - Chia is a complete source of protein, vitamins and minerals which provide sustained energy and contain twice the amount of protein of any other seed or grain.
4. High nutritional profile - Chia is loaded with magnesium, boron, calcium, antioxidants and essential fatty acids which are important to help protect us from ill-health.
5. Amazing source of Omega 3 - The Standard UK (SUK!) diet is overloaded with Omega 6 which promotes inflammation and puts us more at risk of chronic disease. Chia has a high content of Omega 3 oil which is important in the prevention of heart and cholesterol health.
6. Internal sweep - The soluble fibre in the gelatinous coating of the chia keeps the colon hydrated, helps to eliminate accumulated matter and helps to regulate bowel movements.
7. Easy to use - They don't have any flavour meaning that they will take on the flavour in which you combine them. They are extremely versatile and can be used in smoothies, cakes, crackers, biscuits and puddings.