The benefits of nuts and seeds, as far as our health goes, are vast. Beyond health, they are also delicious, shelf stable, and easily portable. Nuts and seeds are a fantastic source of protein, healthy fats, & fiber that are a wonderful snack idea paired with a carbohydrate source like whole fresh fruit.
I love adding nuts and seeds to salads, cereals (both hot and cold), yogurt, pasta dishes, cooked grains, smoothies, or grinding to use in pestos or encrusting tofu or fish. I encourage people to use all different types of nuts and seeds since each have their own benefits.
For example, sunflower seeds are a good source of zinc, almonds are a good source of calcium and potassium, peanuts (although technically a legume) are a good source of protein, pumpkin seeds provide omega 3 fatty acids, and so on. Nuts and seeds in general help facilitate the production of nitric oxide which helps to improve blood pressure. In short nuts and seeds are super healthy foods.
So, what’s so unique about chia seeds? What is a chia seed? Most of us think of Chia Pets when we hear the name, and yes, it’s the same seeds you sprout on a Chia Pet although it may be a different grade for consumption. Chia seeds are touted as being very high in omega-3 fatty acids, however the omega 3 content of flax seed is still higher than chia. Many people with compromised thyroid function may want to be cautious with using flax, so chia would be an alternative. Don’t forget about pumpkin seeds or pepitas, which are also wonderful for omega-3’s but will not affect thyroid function.
Have you tried chia seeds? How do you use them?