Our nutritionist reveals the health benefits of chia seeds, cacao, coconut sugar and more
If you’re just starting out on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge you might sometimes see some ingredients in our recipes that you aren’t familiar with.
So if you’ve ever wondered what those little chia seeds are good for, or why you should choose coconut sugar over regular sugar – read on!
Our Healthy Mummy nutritionist Cheree Sheldon (who helps write the recipes for the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge) today gives us the lowdown on these super nutritious ingredients, what they are, and how they can help you on your weight loss journey.
PLUS we share some recipes that make the most of these special ingredients.
What are the health benefits of these unusual ingredients?
Why do certain foods assist with weight loss and what benefit could a tiny chia seed or some smooth coconut oil possibly have on your health?
To start with, you should know that every single thing you eat and drink has an influence on the body, whether it be good, super or not so great. All real whole foods are in some way medicinal and functional. This means it has a positive effect on the body and your health.
What is a real or whole food? Think unchanged, as it came from nature. Food that has avoided processing, laboratories and has not had added synthetic vitamins or minerals. Fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, meat and so on. Many of the recipes in our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge make the most of real foods, using as few processed ingredients as possible.
Essentially this means that every time you eat, you have the opportunity to eat food that serves you well and helps you achieve your health goals. This is especially true for weight loss as we can eat foods that detox the liver, encourage the body to shed excess fat, provide energy and balance hormones.
This is a natural antidepressant and stress reliever! Cacao is full of antioxidants, which keep our mind sharp and our skin young. Plus, it’s the highest magnesium food in the world, which is important in preventing cramps and headaches (hence why we girls crave chocolate around our cycles!) as well as helping with stress and anxiety.
It is the most mineral rich superfood, and is energising and mood enhancing since it increases serotonin levels in the brain (our feel-good chemical). It has almost double the ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) as acai berry and is rich in polyphenols to help reduce cholesterol and support heart health.
It’s a great way to add the chocolate flavour you love, without using highly processed chocolate which tends to contain a lot of sugar and fats.
This is a rich source of super good saturated fats (90%) which are medium chain triglycerides. This means that they are metabolised uniquely and can actually help to burn fat when eaten by increasing the calories you burn.
This oil is also antimicrobial so can help kill pathogens in the body and on the skin as well. It will keep you full and reduce hunger and sugar cravings.
These are full of chlorophyll, all 8 essential amino acids, essential fatty acids- omega 3 and gamma-linolenic acid. They are also high in iron, magnesium and zinc, and are a great source of plant protein. They are easy to digest and are alkaline to help balance hormones. Note: hemp seeds DO NOT contain THC.
Try using hemp seeds in the Hemp Chocolate Caramel Balls or Hemp Cacao Fudge – recipes are pictured at the top of the page and are available from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
These are the ultimate seed and are thought to be the most nutritious food in the world! Full of omega 3, 6 and 9, antioxidants, protein, calcium, protein, magnesium and fibre, these little miracle seeds are anti-inflammatory, blood sugar balancing, satiating and great for detoxing the gut and bowels. They’re easy to throw into your Healthy Mummy Smoothie or sprinkle on top of salads.