<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?ev=6048136207047&amp;cd[value]=0.01&amp;cd[currency]=USD&amp;noscript=1"> Chia seeds: should you add them to your diet?
February 01, 2016
3 min reading time

Chia seeds: should you add them to your diet?

Did you know that Chia seeds can be a healthy addition to your diet?

Chia seeds are from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. It is a whole grain food that your body can digest as whole seeds. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, omega - 3 fatty acids, protein and antioxidants. An InsideTracker blood analysis can tell you if you need these nutrients to optimize your health and performance.
Chia seeds offer similar dietary health benefits as other well-known edible seeds, such as flax or sesame seeds.Six teaspoons of chia seeds contain 5 milligrams of sodium, 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% of your phosphorus needs, and 30% of manganese. But in addition to these key ingredients, chia seeds also contain the following:

Omega - 3 fatty acids - Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega - 3 fatty acids. This nutrient is important because it is an essential oil, which is what the body cannot produce itself but must be obtained from the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in the immune system, cell growth and heart health. Flaxseeds, fish and fish oil are the best known sources of omega - 3 fatty acids, but chia seeds also contain a significant amount of these nutrients. InsideTracker recommends foods that are rich in healthy fats and suit your tastes
two teaspoons of dried chia seeds meet your daily requirements ( 1.6 grams ) for the essential omega - 3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA ). However , the omega - 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are in the form of eicosapentaenoic acid ( EPA ) and docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA ) . Although ALA , DHA and EPA have similar properties, most of the research linking omega-3 fatty acids with health benefits revolves around DHA and EPA , so fish oil is still considered a better source of this nutrient. Here's the difference: EPA and DHA are long - chain forms of omega - 3, while ALA is the short - chain form. To use ALA, your body must first convert it to the long - chain form, but this conversion does not happen very quickly.
Fiber - Because chia seeds are so rich in fiber, they can help with reducing feelings of hunger. The fiber helps your ?body to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood, works to improve your digestion and makes you feel full longer.

Protein - Two tablespoons of chia seeds equals 4 grams of protein. Protein requirements are broken down into amino acids that help with everything from digesting food to repairing body tissue in the body. Protein is responsible for repairing exercise-induced damage from for example. Protein also facilitates the replenishment of depleted energy reserves, preparing your body for the next competition.

Antioxidants - Chia seeds contain high levels of antioxidants, nutrients that reduce the cellular damage that contributes to poor heart health. Antioxidants help your body's cells repair the damage caused by free radicals, such as cigarette smoke, pollution, pesticides in food, and other toxins. Chia seeds are a type of whole grain. Whole grains contain all parts of the grain: the germ or husk, which is a good source of essential fatty acids and B-vitamins; The complex carbohydrates found in chia seeds and other whole grain products digest slowly and your blood sugar does not rise as quickly from them as from simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates act as your body's fuel, making a significant contribution to the production of energy, so chia seeds can play a vital role in maintaining your energy supply.

How can I add chia seeds to my diet?
You can find chia seeds at supermarkets, health food stores and vitamin stores. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor that are easy to add to foods or drinks. They can be eaten either raw or cooked. Many people do Chia sat rice , yogurt or smoothies . The seeds absorb water very easily and they develop a gelatinous texture when wet, so it is easy to mix them into cooked dishes. The chia sprouts are also edible! You can add them to salads, sandwiches, or soups.
Before you start changing your diet, remember to sign up for an InsideTracker blood analysis to find out what biomarkers you need to improve and what dietary, lifestyle, exercise, and supplement recommendations are right for you to achieve your goals.

About the Author
Ellen is the founder of Blood Value Testing. She gained her experience with health examinations for companies, schools and government institutions at HumanCapitalCare arbo- en gezondheidsdienst. In 2009 she became director of Diagnostics Netherlands, a collaboration between all major general practitioner laboratories in the Netherlands. At the U- Diagnostics laboratory in Utrecht, she was responsible for blood testing at GPs. Until she founded Blood Values Test for individuals in 2013.
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