Why Omega 3’s are important – Chia seeds

You may have heard a lot of talk about Fats, Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, but what does it really mean for you and your health. What are Omega’s and what part to they play in achieving good health?

Some fats are needed for good brain function, bone and muscle development. Omega 3 is one of them!

Decades ago many people were led to believe that all fats were bad and so people embarked on low fat or fat free diets. The problem was that it had an opposite effect on health. More recent studies have shown that that while some fats are bad (trans fats), most other fats are actually very good for you. In fact some fats are essential for good brain function and especially in bone and muscle development in infants and children. One such fat is the polyunsaturated Omega 3’s.

Omega 3 is actually made up of 3 different compounds: ALA – Alpha Linolenic Acid; EPA – Eicosapentaenoic Acid; and DHA – Docosahexaenoic Acid. These are known as essential fatty acids because they are used by the body for functions such as building cell membranes in the brain and controlling blood clotting.

The body can't produce it itself - we have to get it from our food!

Our bodies cannot produce Omega 3’s and therefore the only way to obtain Omega 3’s is from food sources. Good sources include wild salmon, sardines, walnuts and flax seeds. But recently another food has joined the list as one of the best sources of Omega 3’s – chia seeds. Chia seeds originated from the Aztec regions of Central America. As more is becoming known about chia seeds it’s increasingly being hailed as a superfood because of its rich nutritional value. There is another reason that chia seeds are becoming so popular – as the seeds have a neutral taste, so they can be added to almost any meal.

Chia seeds are one of the best sources as they are easily digested even without getting processed

Another bonus of Chia seeds is that the Omega 3’s can be easily absorbed in their dehydrated form. While flax seeds top the list as a source of Omega’s 3’s, flax seeds first need to be roasted, activated, or crushed before the body can absorb the nutrients. If they are eaten whole they simply pass through the body as digestive juices cannot penetrate the hard outer shell of the seed. While salmon and sardines are excellent sources of Omega 3’s, wild salmon is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Also many people do not like the taste of fish or are vegan so would not consider eating fish to obtain essential Omega 3’s.

And chia seeds are gluten free and are also fitting in a vegan diet

Chia seeds are plant based and gluten free, which makes them suitable for almost anyone to consume. Chia seeds do not need to be activated, ground or soaked in order for the body to absorb the nutritional value. They can be eaten raw, soaked in water, roasted and used as a sprinkle or added to smoothies.