Food Highlight: Chia Seeds

Food Highlight:  Chia SeedsYou might remember chia seeds from spreading on your chia pet and watching them grow. Years later, we are eating them instead of growing them.

Chia seeds are small, dark seeds that are slightly bigger than strawberry seeds. They can be found in most grocery stores and health food stores. They can be eaten raw or cooked. Their slightly nutty flavors makes them a versatile addition to smoothies, cold cereal, hot cereal, yogurt, and baked goods such as muffins and breads.

The nutritional benefits of these little seeds has propelled them onto the healthy eating scene. One ounce of chia seeds provides 138 calories, 8 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, one ounce of chia seeds provides 18% of daily calcium needs, 27% phosphorus, 30% manganese, and smaller amounts of potassium, zinc, and copper.

The fiber in chia seeds provides much of its benefits. Diets high in fiber are associated with bowel regularity, preventing flare ups of perticulitis, improved weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and improved blood sugar control.

Research indicates that omega 3 fatty acids, which are abundant in chia seeds, are associated with improved cardiac health, reduced incidence of thrombosis and arrhythmias, decreased LDL cholesterol, decreased total cholesterol, and reduced plaque formation.

It’s easy to see why chia seeds have gained popularity among health conscious eaters. They are packed with nutrients and fiber, taste good, and are easy to add into your meals. Because chia seeds are so nutrient dense, they make a good addition to a post gastric sleeve diet as a way of fitting in lots of nutrients in a small amount of food.

The above food highlight is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified general surgeon specializing in bariatric weight loss surgeries, including adjustable lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass. Dr. Shillingford and his staff enjoy providing our patients with information on foods that can be incorporated into a healthy post surgical bariatric diet. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric band, and gastric bypass patients come from all over South Florida, including Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Delray Beach, Orlando, Port St. Lucie, and the Palm Beaches.