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5 Reasons You Should Be Adding Chia Seeds To Your Diet
If you're new to superfoods, Chia seeds are a great place to start. These tiny seeds are loaded with both micro and macronutrients and can be used in so many ways. They can be featured as the star of your dish or simply added for an extra nutritional punch. Below we have listed 5 reasons why you should be adding chia seeds to your diet, however there are definitely more!
1. Chia seeds help build strong teeth and bones while alleviating stress!
We all know that calcium is extremely important when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and bones. A healthy intake of calcium ensures our teeth and bones are kept strong. One ounce of chia seeds, approximately two tablespoons, contains about 175mg of calcium. For years we have been told that milk is the most important source of calcium in our diets, however the calcium content in chia seeds is five times that of milk as well as most other dairy products. A standard serving of chia seeds makes up about eighteen percent of your daily recommended dose of calcium, strengthening your teeth and bones thus helping to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis. For individuals with dairy restrictions, chia seeds are a great source of vegan calcium, but also for those looking to up their intake of this extremely important mineral. Calcium is not only great for your physical health but also your mental health. This mineral helps to lower cortisol levels in the body, keeping stress at bay.
2. Chia seeds improve your digestion and keep you regular, while lowering cholesterol levels.
One ounce of chia seeds contain approximately 12 grams of carbohydrates. Of these 12 grams, approximately 10 of them are from fiber!. Fiber is extremely important when it comes to maintaining digestive health. The fiber found in chia seeds is soluble, allowing it to bind to bad cholesterol and move it out of the body. For individuals also looking to lower their starch intake, such as diabetics, chia seeds are great because they are a grain-free source of fiber. Many people also believe that chia seeds contribute to weight loss, largely due to their high fiber content. Chia being a soluble fiber means that it is capable of absorbing large amounts of water, which will have you feeling fuller faster and longer.
3. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants.
Chia seeds are often referred to as a powerhouse due to their impressive micronutrient profile. These little seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals and also antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight off and rid the body of free radicals, which can not only damage the body but also create disease. An influx of free radicals in the body causes cells to break down which can be dangerous because it allows room for cancerous cells to develop in their place. Antioxidants are also important in the fight against inflammation, which can be harmful to the heart. By reducing inflammation and fighting off free radicals inside the body, antioxidants also help maintain a healthy exterior, including your skin and hair.
4. Chia seeds contain more Omega-3’s than salmon!
In order to receive 5,000mg of Omega-3’s, you’d have to eat about 6 ounces of salmon. On the other hand, you could just eat one serving (about one ounce) of chia seeds! Omega-3’s are essential fats that cannot be naturally produced by the body, meaning we need to instead get them from food sources. These fatty acids are vital in preventing heart disease and maintaining a healthy heart overall. One ounce of chia seeds contains roughly 9 grams of fat, 5 of which are Omega-3’s.
5. Chia seeds are incredibly versatile.
One of the best reasons to add chia seeds to your diet is because it’s so darn easy! Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or something savory, chia seeds can almost always be incorporated. Like flax seeds, chia seeds can be consumed whole or ground as well as raw or cooked. When incorporated with liquid, chia seeds form a gelatinous membrane. This adds an interesting texture to smoothies and oatmeals. This reaction also makes for a great egg substitute in baking recipes for those looking to eliminate eggs from their diet, or those who just may not have them on hand. Chia seeds don’t have much of a flavour profile on their own so you can add them whole or ground to pretty much anything. When ground, try adding them to smoothies and baked goods to up the micronutrient profile of your dish.
Looking to add chia seeds to your diet? Try out our Chia Seed Pudding!