Salads are perfect for warm weather— they can be immensely healthy, well-suited for warm weather, energy-filled and easily customizable. With that said, we reached out to registered nutritionists, dietitians, personal trainers and other health experts to learn more about one healthy and underrated salad ingredient that you can add anytime to promote smooth digestion and a swifter metabolism. Read on for tips and suggestions from Dr. Virginia Blackwell, MD, nutrition and health expert at Eve Mag, Jay Cowin, NNCP, RNT, RNC, CHN, CSNA, registered nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM, and Elliott Tornsey, RDN, registered dietitian, nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator at Den of Fitness.
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How Chia Seeds In Salad Promote Healthy Metabolism & Digestion
When thinking of putting together a salad for yourself, there are many ways to make your meal especially healthy for your gut. Chia seeds, Blackwell says, are a great addition for your metabolism specifically. “The most important ingredient to add to summer salads that can promote a healthier metabolism is chia seeds,” she explains.
The seeds, she notes, are rich in important nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. In addition to their nutritional value, chia seeds also “act as a natural weight loss aid due to their ability to fill you up and help you feel satisfied longer,” she adds.
Furthermore, Blackwell says that chia seeds “improve blood sugar regulation and reduce inflammation,” both of which are important in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. “Finally, chia seeds can help improve your liver health and detoxification process by aiding in liver detoxification,” she says.
Cowin agrees, and dubs this ingredient to be a “great source of fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.” All of these nutrients can help with inflammation and weight loss, he emphasizes. “Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial for weight loss because they help to reduce inflammation and control hunger,” Cowin stresses.
Tornsey also concurs, and believes that whole grains like chia seeds are “heavenly on salads.” Whole grains are high in fiber because the bran is still intact, he explains, and they add “a wonderful nutty flavor and texture” to your salad. Once a month, he advises to “cook up a batch of whole grains of your choosing and freeze them in single serving-size containers for later use.”
They thaw beautifully, he concludes, “or you can reheat them in the microwave and use them as a side dish at any meal.” The possibilities are endless! Regarding chia seeds, on days where you don’t eat salad, Blackwell recommends trying to drink “at least 2 glasses of water a day with 1-2 teaspoons of chia seeds mixed in, as “this will aid your body in faster metabolism.”