Are chia seeds worth the hype?
I’ve noticed that people put chia seeds in everything nowadays, are they really as good as people make them sound? Thanks, Alison.
Hi Alison. The reason they’re gaining in popularity is due to their many nutritional benefits. They’re available in two varieties; black, which naturally contains a combination of black, grey and white seeds and white, containing only the white seeds. Both varieties of chia have similar nutritional benefits. One of the wonderful things about incorporating chia seeds into your diet is that they basically don’t have any flavour and will absorb the flavour of anything you pair with them.
Nutritionally speaking, chia seeds are a great vegetarian source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid – beneficial for the brain and heart.
Essential fatty acids build new cells and regulate various processes of the body, but our bodies cannot make them internally so we must get them from our diet. Chia seeds are also a good source of potassium and contain all of the essential amino acids, making them a complete source of protein. This is critical for vegetarians or vegans who have to combine foods to supply missing amino acids.
Chia seeds also contain good quantities of many minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and manganese. Phosphorus is a mineral primarily known for its role in bone health. It works with calcium in order to boost the strength of your bones.
When consuming chia seeds it’s important to increase your intake of water, as it’s such a good source of fibre. You can make a chia seed gel that acts as a binding agent to replace eggs and oil in baking.
They can also be ground into flour as another option for glutenfree flours. You can mix them into your breakfast, add them to smoothies, muffins or baking and of course make desserts from them. They’re even delicious added to a hot lemon and ginger drink during the cooler months. But like anything, they are best consumed in moderation.
I have terrible circulation, are there any natural ways I can support this? Thanks, Fiona.
Hi Fiona. Circulatory issues can occur when blood flow becomes restricted to certain parts of the body for a variety of reasons. Although it can affect any part of your body, usually people notice it in their extremities – the toes or fingers. Here are a number of ways you can support healthy circulation:
Regular movement helps to boost your circulation, it’s really important to find activities that you enjoy doing. Any type of movement that gets your blood pumping will be beneficial for your circulation. If your circulation is already compromised, start by introducing some gentle exercise like tai chi.
GINGER AND TURMERIC ROOT
Ginger, similar to spicy peppers, can help blood flow, as can
turmeric root, which also has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a wonderful antioxidant and assists blood flow.
Eating a diet rich in vitamin C containing foods such as capsicums, citrus fruit, broccoli and papaya is important for vascular health, which in turn improves circulation. Alternatively you can supplement with vitamin C.
Herbal medicine offers a number of approaches. Ginkgo biloba is a herb renowned for its blood-flow enhancing effects, it can be taken in tablet or liquid form.
Chia seeds are a great vegetarian source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.