Chia is an edible seed coming from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica. It is grown in Mexico and its usage for health benefits dates back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. In Mayan language “Chia” means strength and the tiny chia seeds were considered running food as messengers could run all day thanks to their nutritional composition.
Chia seed is a concentrated superfood containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fibres, antioxidants and calcium. Chia is an unprocessed whole-grain and unlike flaxseeds it is easily absorbed by the body. Just an ounce of this miraculous seed contains 4gr of protein and 11gr of fibre plus vitamins and minerals.
The mild and nutty flavour of the chia makes it easy to add to various dishes and salads, as well as superfood shakes. They could be enjoyed sprinkled on cereals, salads, veggies, sauces, mixed in baked goods or yogurt.
How chia seed works on the body?
When consumed, chia seed expands and forms a gel in the stomach and thus prolonging the process of turning carbohydrates into sugars. This results in a more gradual release of energy within the body making us feel full for longer.
More about its nutritional content:
Chia has two times the amount of protein any other seed or grain has. It is packed with fibres and contains 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries. Chia has 3 times more iron than spinach and incredibly high levels of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. They are also packed with calcium as well as boron which helps calcium get into the bones. Being gluten free, chia is an excellent superfood for gluten-sensitive individuals.
A one ounce serving (2tbs) contains:
Fat: 9 gr *5 of which omega-3s
Calcium: 18% of RDA
Magnesium: 30% of RDA
Manganese: 30% of RDA
Phosphorus: 27% of RDA
Along with a decent amount of Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, Zinc and Potassium
Health benefits of the chia:
- Regulates the blood sugar levels.
- Improves and regulates the digestive system.
- Fights insulin resistance which could relate to increased belly fat.
- Improves blood pressure and heart health.
- Maintains bone and oral health due to its high-calcium content and prevents osteoporosis.
- Potential natural type-2 diabetes treatment due to its ability to slow down digestion.
- Promotes fat loss as it lowers food cravings and keep you full for longer.
- High amount of omega-3s and 6 improves memory and reduces depression.
- Promotes detoxication.
Which chia seeds to choose and how to store them?
There are two different kinds of chia, and they have slightly different nutritional values. There is the “Black Chia” which is a combination of seeds with different shades of brown and the “White Chia” which is a mixture of white, grey and yellowish seeds. Both kinds have the same flavour and function the same way within the body; however, White Chia has a bit more protein, while Black chia has a bit more fibre.
To storage your chia seed correctly, transfer it in a glass or ceramic jar with a lid and keep it in a dry and dark spot in your kitchen. *When opening the package, if your chia seed happens to have a mold-like smell, be aware that its expiration date has past, and it is not safe for consumption.
Chia seed is among the few trendy “superfoods” which are actually worthy of that term. Their exceptional nutritional values and health benefits make it one of the best grains you could fuel your body with. Perfect to use in just about any recipe, chia is a miraculous addition to meals and drinks praised by any health, vegan or gastronomical geek.