Chia Seeds: What Are They, The Benefits and Do They Pose A Health Risk?

Chia-close-up

 

This information could not have come to me at a better time. I found a new love and it’s called overnight oats. It’s various recipes on the internet and one called for chia seeds. As a person who tend to lean towards a holistic approach as well as herbs and things that come from the earth in its natural state when it comes to my health, I wondered what is chai seeds and why is it so popular.

A healthy source of omega-3 fats and fiber, chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that is native to Mexico and Guatemala. The seed comes in white or brown as well as black color. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus and these seeds can be eaten whole or milled. These seeds are said to be tasteless and can be added to your favorite foods. They can be sprinkled in your salads, added milled to smoothies and in your overnight oats. Some of the benefits of chia seeds is you can get more fiber, it can combat diabetes, strengthen your teeth and bones, it’s a great source of protein and it fights belly fat. Now all these good things that chia seeds do however, researchers say chia seeds can pose a risk if not consumed properly.

chia smoothie

The seed itself has the ability to absorb up to 27 times their weight in water. If you have a history of [swallowing problems] or known esophageal strictures one should be cautioned as to how they consume these seeds. The seeds should be fully expanded in liquid prior to ingestion. When used properly they are safe, says study author Dr. Rebecca Rawl of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. The seeds should be mixed with enough liquid to allow them to expand before consumption.

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