Chia Seeds in Smoothies: A Cancer-Fighting Superfood

As I age, my passion for health and wellness intensifies. I am constantly exploring new avenues to improve my diet and holistic health.  Recently, I have encountered an ingredient packed with nutritional value. After extensive research, I discovered the wealth of benefits offered by this superfood. I started to add this ingredient to my food – beverages, salads, soups, stews and baked goodies. I am talking about chia seeds!  This article will outline and uncover the health benefits of chia seeds and provide easy recipes to add them to your smoothie regimen seamlessly.

Fascinating Facts about Chia Seeds

  • Chia seeds are small round seeds in three colors – black, brown and white. They originate from Central and South America. They have an exemptional value in the Aztec and Mayan diets. The word “chia” is a Mayan word for strength. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to boost their energy and improve stamina. 
  • Surprisingly, chia seeds were once used as currency. Aztecs frequently used them as a mode of payment. Historical records reveal that 4,000 tons of chia seeds were paid annually to the Aztec Empire.
  • The Spanish invaders destroyed chia crops 500 years ago. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America, they ordered the destruction of the crops as part of their attempt to overtake the indigenous population and build Spanish rule. 
  • Dr. Wayne Coates rediscovered chia in the 1990s. Dr. Coates spearheaded a project in Argentina to search for cash crops that could benefit the local farmers. After testing different plants and assessing their market potential, Dr. Coates uncovered the nutritional component of chia seeds. The research aimed to revive chia to a commercial scale and make it accessible to people globally. 
  • Chia plants thrive in regions between 23 degrees and 23 degrees south latitude. These plants are quite volatile and demand environmental conditions to flourish. While they cannot withstand frost, they rely on climates to develop omega 3 fatty acids. The suited environment for chia cultivation lies within the band of 23 degrees south of the equator offering the necessary elements for a successful chia seed harvest.

Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a nutrient-rich superfood, brimming with essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Just an ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds contains:

  • protein: 4.7 g
  • fat: 8.7 g
  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): 5 g
  • carbs: 11.9 g
  • fiber: 9.8 g
  • calcium: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • iron: 12% of the DV
  • magnesium: 23% of the DV
  • phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • zinc: 12% of the DV
  • vitamin B1 thiamine: 15% of the DV
  • vitamin B3 (niacin): 16% of the DV

I can highly recommend these Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Black Chia Seeds. These tiny seeds really do wonders for boosting your energy and supporting your health.

Being organic means you can trust what you’re eating without having to worry about chemicals or pesticides. The best part? They’re packed with omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and essential vitamins and minerals. A powerhouse of nutrients!

You can add them to just about anything. I enjoy blending them into my smoothies for breakfast. Honestly, I can’t recommend these chia seeds enough.

Enticing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

  • Loaded with Antioxidants: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants which are compounds that help to protect the body against damage from free radicals. Antioxidants not only shield the delicate fats in chia seeds from spoilage but also contribute to human well-being by counteracting reactive molecules called free radicals, which can harm cellular components if they accumulate in the body. Antioxidants aid in neutralizing these free radicals and shielding the body from their harmful effects and the development of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
  • May reduce high cholesterol levels: Chia seeds contain fiber and mucilage which gives them a texture when mixed with water. These components can potentially reduce LDL cholesterol levels slow down digestion to prevent sudden blood sugar spikes after meals and contribute to a sense of fullness.
  • May lower your risk of heart disease: Because chia seeds are rich in fiber and omega-3s, consuming them may lower your risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber, mainly found in chia seeds, can help reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease (15Trusted Source). Additionally, consuming ALA, the omega-3 fatty acid in chia seeds has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease (16Trusted Source).
  • Can aid in Weight Loss: Chia seeds are rich in fiber, which can help you feel full and decrease your appetite. This can result in consuming fewer calories and ultimately assist in weight loss. Furthermore, chia seeds are low in calories and can be effortlessly added to a range of meals, making them an excellent supplement to any weight loss plan.
  • Good for digestion: The high fiber content of chia seeds promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Thus, this superfood aids in improving overall gut health.

Nutritional Facts

Here’s a condensed nutrition chart featuring the ten most important nutrients in a 1-ounce (28 grams or about 2 tablespoons) serving of chia seeds:

NutrientAmount per serving% Daily Value*
Fiber10 g36%
Protein4.7 g9%
Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA)4.9 g307%
Calcium179 mg18%
Iron2.2 mg12%
Magnesium95 mg24%
Phosphorus244 mg35%
Zinc1.3 mg12%
Manganese0.6 mg30%
Selenium15.4 mcg28%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Chia Seed Smoothies for a Healthier Blend

How do we add chia seeds to our smoothies? They can be easily incorporated into smoothies, adding a boost of nutrition and texture. Here are two ways to use chia seeds in your smoothies:

  • Soaking Chia Seeds: Before adding chia seeds to your smoothie, it’s best to soak them first. This makes them easier to digest and stops them from sticking together. Just mix chia seeds with water or liquid and leave them for 10 minutes until they get jelly-like.
  • Adding Chia Seeds to Smoothies: Once your chia seeds are soaked, you can add them to your smoothie along with other ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and nut milks. Chia seeds can add a slightly nutty flavor and a gel-like texture to your smoothie which some people may find enjoyable. Start with a small amount of chia seeds, around 1-2 tablespoons, and gradually increase the amount as desired.

Chia Seed Smoothie Recipes

Here are three delicious chia seed smoothie recipes to try at home:

Mango Chia Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Chocolate Chia Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Berry Chia Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy!

The Bottom Line

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse! They are not only a superfood rich in minerals, omega-3 fat, antioxidants, and fiber but also easy to prepare.

Research indicates that chia seeds have various health benefits, ranging from weight loss to a reduced risk of heart disease. However, more research involving humans is needed for a definite conclusion.

If you want to reap the possible benefits of chia seeds, consider incorporating them into your diet. They’re a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, and more.

FAQs

  • Can I eat chia seeds without soaking them? While you can eat chia seeds without soaking them, soaking them first can make them easier to digest and prevent them from clumping together in your smoothie.
  • How much chia seeds should I add to my smoothie? Start with a small amount, around 1-2 tablespoons, and gradually increase the amount as desired.
  • Can I use chia seeds in other dishes besides smoothies? Yes, chia seeds can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, including oatmeal, yogurt, and baked goods.
  • Are there any side effects of consuming chia seeds? While chia seeds are generally safe to consume, some people may experience digestive issues like bloating or gas if they consume too much at once. It’s important to start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount as your body adjusts.
  • Can chia seeds help with weight loss? Yes, chia seeds are high in fiber and protein, which can help to promote feelings of fullness and reduce appetite. This can lead to a reduction in calorie intake and ultimately aid in weight loss.

Check out these chia seed recipes

Overall, incorporating chia seeds into your smoothie routine is a simple and delicious way to boost your health and well-being. With their impressive nutritional profile and numerous health benefits, chia seeds are definitely worth adding to your diet. So go ahead and give them a try – your body will thank you!

Chia Seeds In Smoothies

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links.  Please see our disclosure to learn more.

Avatar photo

Sonia Grant

What started as a personal endeavor to protect my loves ones from the dangers of processed foods has now evolved into a commitment to share my findings with the widest audience possible. As the negative result of eating unhealthy, processed foods continues to grow, I believe that it is crucial to equip you with the information you need to make informed choices about your diet and lifestyle. Through My Nutrition Foods, I hope to to empower you to take control of your health and well-being. Information equips us with strength!


More to Explore