Are Chia Seeds Low Carb?
Low Carb Chia Seeds – Cheers To This Superfood!
Chia seeds are now deemed as a ‘superfood’ and have many other great health benefits too! These little seeds are mighty, and it takes a lot of factors to grow into their best nutritional state. Factoring in the latitude, water source, day length, climate, soil and harvesting methods, these seeds are grown in few places around the world, ours being sourced from Bolivia.
Not just limited to chia puddings, these seeds are extremely versatile and can be added to almost every meal – from breakfast to dinner. Let’s discover what makes these tiny seeds so nutritious and why you should add chia to your diet!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are small edible seeds from the desert plant, Salvia hispanica. They are a member of the mint family and grow abundantly in southern Mexico. Packed with nutrients and low carb, chia seeds also have a very neutral flavour, making it a subtle but healthy addition to less nutritious foods.
Chia seeds are held in the head of the flowers, which are dried and then harvested. Due to their mainstream popularity, chia seeds can be easily found at any supermarket and health food store.
What are the benefits of Chia Seeds nutrition?
One of the reasons chia seeds have been deemed a superfood is because they contain more Omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant food, even including flaxseeds! Omega 3 fatty acids are important to prevent inflammation in the blood vessels and are crucial for cardiovascular health.
These tiny seeds are packed with about 20% protein (4g in 2 Tbsp!) and contain no gluten or grains, so are even more perfect for those needing to cut gluten from their diet! They are keto-friendly, low carb and have a low glycemic index (which helps to control blood sugar levels).
Chia seeds are also well known to keep you feeling fuller for longer due to this thick gel texture formed, when soaked in water for 30 minutes or consumed and in your stomach. This chia gel actually slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, thus making you feel fuller for longer. This is especially beneficial for anyone with high blood sugar levels such as diabetics or managing weight loss.
Favourable to athletes who partake in races and endurance activities, but a benefit to everyone, chia is also hydrophilic. This means they can absorb more than 12 times their weight in water, and because of this, help your body stay hydrated. What a strong little seed!
Wait, we’re not finished! Or better yet, these seeds aren’t finished! Chia seeds are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. In two teaspoons (2 tsp) of chia seeds, you will consume 18% of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for Calcium, 35% for Phosphorus, 24% for Magnesium and about 50% for Manganese. Now that’s a whole lot of numbers! All these nutrients help with maintaining a healthy weight, assist with preventing hyperextension and are important for energy metabolism and DNA synthesis.
How can I include Chia Seeds in my diet?
Chia seeds have a neutral taste, making it a super easy ingredient to add to your savoury or sweet dish! You won’t have to worry about it adding a peculiar taste. The possibilities with chia seeds are endless but here are some of our favourite ways to start incorporating this low carb food:
- Add to overnight oats for an easy breakfast fix. Save time in the morning with this jam packed ready-to-eat breakfast food! Adding to your usual breakfast cereal works well too.
- Make your own sugar free jam, the chia seeds give it extra jammy texture and nutrition.
- Soaked chia seeds create the classic chia pudding, made with your choice of milk – we love ours with unsweetened almond milk
- Add to different baked goods like Orange, Almond & Chia Muffins or Chia Jam Drop Cookies
What products do we use Chia Seeds in?
Chia seeds are versatile, easy to use and good for you. Despite its small size, they’re loaded with so much nutritional goodness like Omega 3 fatty acids.
JO TO ADD
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What is the difference between Black Chia Seeds and White Chia Seeds?
This is by far one of the most common questions about chia seeds. According to The Chia Co Australia, there is absolutely no difference! Both seeds share the same neutral taste, exceptional nutritional profile and versatility of use. It is only the outer shell colour that has differed here. Generally, we tend to choose a specific colour if we want the chia seeds to stand out (black chia) or blend in (white chia).
However, you should avoid brown chia seeds as this indicates a lack of maturity. This means it has been exposed to insufficient weather conditions and the nutritional content has been compromised. They’ll also have a bitter taste…no thank you.
Want to find more Low Carb ingredients?
Did you know that chia comes from the Mayan word, Chia, which means strength? The impressive nutritional profile of chia seeds has been recognised since the 3500BC, and we love that they are still such a great versatile ingredient today! There are so many other low carb ingredients that you can add to your diet – continue reading below.
Sunflower seeds are a nutrient dense food, packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They are great as a quick snack due to its crunchiness, but also works well in breakfast bowls and salads. These seeds have also been proven to reduce the risk for heart disease and support thyroid function.
Linseeds, also known as flaxseed, have a pleasant, nutty flavour. Packed with nutritional goodness, linseed is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids and gluten/wheat free fibre (digestive and gut health!). It’s also great for all things beauty, as it helps improve the quality of hair, skin and nails.