Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau explores the benefits of incorporating another healthy ingredient into our diets. This month it’s chia seeds
Chia seeds are highly nutritious tiny black seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant that make an incredibly versatile ingredient which can be added to thicken sauces, as an egg replacement or even used to make a sugar-free jam! They are packed with fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients and powerful antioxidants, which provide several health benefits.
Antioxidants help to fight free radicals in the body which cause oxidative stress and cell damage, so eating foods rich in antioxidants may help to reduce your risk of developing many health issues associated with free radicals, including heart disease, cognitive decline and certain types of cancer. They also contain Quercetin, an antioxidant that can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
A handful of chia seeds (25g) supplies almost 9g of fibre which makes a healthy contribution towards the daily recommended amount of 30g. Adequate fibre in your diet is important for digestive health, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and blood sugar regulation. But be sure to build up your intake slowly because, due to their high fibre content, eating too many chia seeds may cause constipation, diarrhoea or bloating – so increase them slowly into your diet.
Energising and fibre-rich breakfast smoothie with chia seeds
This nourishing smoothie is packed with a hit of spicy ginger, vitamin-rich berries and creamy almond milk and butter – a perfect way to enjoy your chia, Serves 1
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 100g mixed frozen berries
- 1 small banana
- 150ml almond milk
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Simply place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth!
Charlotte runs Plume Nutrition, where she offers support and advice for weight management, controlling cravings, sleeplessness, stress and increasing energy levels. Find out more at plumenutrition.com
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