Chia seeds have become an integral part of many cuisines today. We find them entering our diets through smoothies, puddings, salads or juices. But do we know why and how we should eat Chia seeds.
Chia seeds are a common andpopular superfood. They are tiny black seeds but don’t be fooled by the size… these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. The source of Chia seeds is the plant Salvia Hispanica, which belongs to the mint family. In the times of the Aztecs and Mayans, the Chia seeds were eaten for the sustained energy they provided. An interesting fact is that the name “chia” depicts “strength” in ancient Mayan.
Chia is the richest source of plant protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They are abundant in antioxidants and contain all 9 essential amino acids. The seeds are also a rich source of fiber, iron and calcium.
See how including the superfood Chia seeds will help you
Chia seeds are the richest source of antioxidants. Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems and prevent further damage. It also prevents premature skin aging by protecting the body from free radical damage.
Chia is high in fiber and contain approximately 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. This will support digestionand help regulate bowel movements.
Further, when consumed, chia seeds create a gelatine-like substance in the stomach. This gel works as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in the gut.
2 table spoons (28 gms) serving of Chia seeds contains:
(USDA – United States Dept of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database)
Chia seeds are rich in dietary fat sources (omega-3 and linoleic fatty acids). These healthy fats work to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, inflammation, bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL).
Chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid and fiber. This will help prevent dyslipidemia (excessive fat in the blood) and insulin resistance – which are detrimental to health, leading to diabetes.
Chia seeds helps maintain bone strength and mass as it is the good source of calcium. Along with calcium it also contains boron which is another essential nutrient for bone health. Boron helps metabolize calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus for healthy growth of bones and muscles.
Adding chia seeds in your diet regularly boosts metabolism and reduces visceral adipose tissue, a “belly fat”. The fiber content in chia seeds makes people feel satiated (full) because it absorbs a considerable amount of water and immediately expands in the stomach. In turn, it curbs hunger and suppresses appetite, which supports weight loss.
Chia seeds are versatile
You can eat Chia seeds as it is, and they don’t have to be ground prior to consumption to obtain its nutrients. it is advised to pre-soak the Chia seeds for about an hour.
You can store the seeds in a dry container. The seeds last up to two years with no refrigeration and do not go rancid quickly.
Eat in moderation
Chia seeds are a natural source of inducing positive effects on your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. If you are on medication for any of these health conditions consult an expert before you start Chia seeds. However, it also not advisable to stop medications without consulting the doctor.
As Chia seeds are high in protein and fiber make sure that you drink plenty of water and fluids.
Add it into your salads, buttermilk, lassi fruit juices, or soak it and eat it as it is.