Chia Seeds
When it comes to health boosting foods, it’s not uncommon to hear that the smallest, simplest, most humble foods pack the biggest, most powerful nutritional punch.

Most known “superfoods” - like berries, nuts, grains, legumes and seeds - seem to have that in common. No fuss, no frills, nothing fancy. Just pure, nutrient-dense nibbles that nature offers us to enjoy and reap the nutritional rewards.

Chia seeds have been on the health radar for a good few years, but did you know that humans, especially the Aztecs and ancient Mayans, have been eating them for about 5 500 years? Ok, so maybe you already knew that Chia seeds were pretty healthy. But it turns out that these little nuggets are particularly important for women’s health. 


What makes Chia seeds so healthy?

Before we unpack the health benefits of Chia seeds for women, here are some numbers to set the scene and make you go, “wow”.

Just 28 grams (2 tablespoons) of Chia are packed with nutrients:
  • Fiber: 11 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s)
  • Calcium: 18% of the recommended daily intake
  • Manganese: 30% of the recommended daily intake
  • Magnesium: 30% of the recommended daily intake
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the recommended daily intake

They also contain good levels of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), selenium, potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2. That’s a lot of nutrition!

So what makes Chia seeds so healthy for women?

The health benefits of Chia seeds are for everybody, but there are a few reasons why they are especially great for women’s health and wellbeing.

1. They prevent premature skin ageing

Life can be pretty stressful, especially for women. And there’s always a dead giveaway that we’re stressed out. That’s right, ladies: our skin. Ongoing stress can take its toll on the health of our skin, which makes us look noticeably tired, even haggard.

Chia seeds have shown to have wonderful benefits for the condition of our skin, as they are loaded with antioxidants that speed up skin repair and prevent additional skin damage, and they boost collagen levels that plump up fine lines and give the skin a healthy glow. While Chia seeds obviously won’t remove the stresses of life, it looks like they can make a difference to how our bodies combat those stresses.

2. They boost energy and metabolism

Forget the Fountain of Youth… someone needs to find us the Fountain of Energy! If there’s one thing we could do with a whole lot more of, it’s energy. Something seems to happen after a certain age where our metabolisms just plummet, right? We’re often exhausted before the day even begins.

Chia seeds have been shown to boost the body’s metabolism and energy levels. One study showed that eating Chia seeds before exercise gave the participants the same energy boost as a high-sugar energy drink, only without the sugar content.

3. They help fight breast and cervical cancers

Many studies have shown that simple lifestyle changes, like adopting a healthy diet, can potentially prevent 30-50% of all cancers.

The high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in Chia seeds have been linked to limiting cancer cell growth in cancer patients. Other studies have also shown that consumption of Chia seeds helps the body fight and destroy cancer cells without harming the body’s healthy cells.

4. They keep you full and satisfied

Our lives move at a rapid pace and our bodies need help keeping up. Eating foods that release energy slowly and keep us fuller and satisfied for longer is important to help us cope with the demands of our busy lifestyles.

Did you know that Chia seeds can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water? Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and fibre, which means that while they are small, you don’t need to eat too many for you to feel their impact on your appetite. When your diet is high in fibre and protein, you’re less likely to get snackish after your meals - which could help in your weight loss journey, if that’s something that you’re focusing on.

5. They reduce stress levels

Before you strangle that coworker who keeps asking easy-to-Google questions every five minutes, try crunching down on some raw Chia seeds. Not only will your aggressive chewing ward off annoying workmates, but it will also release useful amino acids.

Amino acids found in Chia seeds have been shown to boost levels of serotonin, hormones that promote calmness in the body. Studies have also shown a link between eating Chia seeds and reduced levels of anxiety.

Easy ways to include Chia seeds in your daily diet

So, just how much Chia should you get in per day? Two servings of 1½ to 2 tablespoons per day are ideal to maximise the health benefits of these nutritional nuggets. Here are some ways to get them in without a fuss:
  • Use Chia seeds in Vegan baking: they’re an excellent replacement for eggs
  • Soak them in juice and drink as a fibre boosting health drink
  • Sprinkle over cereal, yoghurt or granola
  • Toss them into your morning smoothies
  • Use them to thicken sauces
  • Mix them in with muffin batter, rusks or healthy biscuit mix
  • Make a Chia face mask: grind up the seeds finely and mix with water until it forms a nice spreadable paste. Ta da! You’ve got an easy, affordable home-made face mask that will give you visible results. 

Stock up on your Chia Seeds! 

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