healthy_eatingWondering what a chia seed is and why on earth you should be eating it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Up until recently, chia seeds weren’t really on the radar, passed over in favour of things like flaxseed and linseed.
Things have changed however, with chia seeds bursting onto the scene as the new kids on the healthy eating block.
But what exactly are they, and, more importantly, why should you include them in your diet?
While tiny in size, the humble chia seed is a real nutritional powerhouse. Packed full of fibre, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, they’re also what is referred to as a ‘complete protein.’
This means that they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to stay fit and healthy.
We often think of animal sources when we think of  complete proteins (beef, chicken, fish) but chia makes a fantastic addition to the list, especially for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Chia seeds are also proving to be a great weapon in the battle against the bulge. If you’re trying to lose weight or following a weight loss plan adding chia to your diet can help can supercharge your results.
The seeds actually act as a mild appetite suppresant as they keep you feeling full for longer, largely due to their protein content and ability to absorb more than 12 times their own weight in water.
This means they’ll fill you up, without adding any extra calories. Adding chia to your normal meals may mean that you end up eating less, simply because you’re unable to fit in your usual portion, due to all the chia filling up your tummy!
5 chia-riffic facts

  • Chia is completely gluten free and extremely high in fibre
  • Chia seed contains a substance called tryptophan that can help promote a good night’s sleep

A tablespoon of chia contains:

  • Eight times more omega-3 than salmon.
  • Five times more calcium than milk
  • Three times for iron than spinach

Now you know just how fantastic this little seed is, you’ll probably want to add it to your diet.
One of the best things about chia is that it’s extremely versatile and can be added to a whole range of different dishes and foods. It doesn’t need to be ground or soaked and can be added straight in in its raw form.
One tablespoon of chia seed contains 65 calories, 7.5g of carbohydrates, 5g of fat, 2.5g of protein and 2g of fibre, making the seeds a low calorie addition to your diet.
Here are our top suggestions for how to use chia:

  • In your Healthy Mummy smoothieAdd 1/2 tsp. to your morning or lunchtime smoothie.  Check out some smoothie suggestions to add your chia to here.
  • Sprinkled on to your favourite cereal or muesli.
  • Added to muffins or homemade bread.
  • Sprinkled over yoghurt (check out our recipe here to make your own yoghurt).
  • As a substitute to egg. Simply combine 1 tbsp. ground chia seed with 3 tbsp. of water to form a gel-like paste. This is equal to one large egg.

Your options really are endless!
Need to stock up on Healthy Mummy Smoothies? Then see our shop here
And join our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges here