Chia seeds have amazing health benefits like Flax Seeds. The chia seeds are a good alternative to increase your intake of essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 and to reduce craving through a system, no more sugar cravings in the afternoon. Let’s discover together this valuable food.
The History Of Chia Seeds
Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is a plant of the family Lamiaceae (mint family), native to Mexico’s central valley and mountainous areas of Peru. The seeds are small, round. There are two varieties, a clear, called Salba, and one black. The color varies depending on the source of chia. With beans, corn and amaranth, chia composed the staple food of the Aztecs and Mayas. It was also used as offerings in religious rituals.
Professor Vladimir Vuksan, attached to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, working at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. they conducted the most extensive research on this plant. This study, spread over a period of 15 years found that chia contains more nutrients than many foods known.
- 50% more folate than asparagus
- 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
- 1.1 times more fiber than wheat bran
- 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
- 8 times more Omega-3 than salmon
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- 2 times more potassium than bananas
- 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries
- 6 times more calcium than milk
Only 2 tablespoons of the chia seeds provide 2.5 grams of fatty acid Omega-3 and 4.2 grams of fiber!
The chia seeds are sometimes called “Indian food runner” (the food of the Indians who are) because they constitute the food of endurance among tribes of Native Americans. The Aztecs used it as an energy source during their 24-hour market as chia seeds are high in fiber and fat, especially omega 3. This explains why they could walk over a long period with only chia as food.
In the stomach, mixed with gastric juice, they become gelatinous and thus create a barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes. Carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly, eating chia seeds help to stabilize blood sugar, thus having an interest in people with diabetes.(Vladimir Vuksan, 2002)
This is corroborated by a 2007 study in Diabetes Care, where researchers found that patients with type 2 diabetes, who consumed 37 g of chia (about 6 tablespoons) daily, saw their rate of protein C -reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) decrease of 32%, decreased systolic and diastolic, and an improvement in blood sugar.
Properties of chia seeds
Chia is a gluten-free food, it contains 30% high quality protein, 30% fiber for the most soluble, and a great antioxidant levels. The “oil in the seed is well preserved and does not go rancid. If compare the chia seed with flax for its high in Omega 3, however rancid flax because it has no antioxidant by itself unlike chia seeds.
Chia seeds contain 4.8 grams of fiber a tablespoon, these fibers are essential to health. This is higher than most dairy products. As a result, chia seeds may be considered an excellent source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy. One ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
- Calcium: 18%
- Manganese: 30%
- Magnesium: 30%
- Phosphorus: 27%
- Also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.
How to use chia seeds?
The taste of chia seeds is very shallow. It is possible to mix all kinds of food, sweet or salty. It can be used for making desserts (cream, cakes, muffins,…) or simply mixed with salad. Chia can be consumed as a drink with water, lemon juice and sugar.
Most recipes contain at least one tablespoon of chia seeds, recommendations daily omega 3 are met.
Adopt the chia seeds in our diet
To take advantage of its properties, it is not necessary to grind the chia wort as flaxseed. By cons, like any food, it is recommended to chew as much as possible.
By incorporating it into a liquid such as juice, smoothies, cereal or in yogurt, the seed becomes soft and begins its process of germination. It can be incorporated into salad dressings or put on salads, as the seed absorbs the dressing and binds all the ingredients for the salad. It can also be incorporated into bread dough or pie.
You can also replace the binding effect of the egg with 3 tablespoons of whole chia put in a little water or directly into the wet ingredients. When you put the whole chia, we must wait a little longer, that the fibers absorb water and the consistency of the egg is formed. This takes about 40 minutes. Otherwise, it is directly 3 tablespoons of ground chia in the recipe.
What are the major nutritional benefits of Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds contains a big amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of high-quality protein, and several essential minerals and antioxidants. They may improve digestive health, blood levels of heart-healthy omega-3s, and risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
- Chia contains no gluten and is suitable for people who are allergic.
- Omega-3: Chia seed is commercially available food that naturally contains the Omega-3 all over the world. Indeed, 2 tablespoons chia Daily is sufficient to supply the body with more than 100% of the required amount of Omega-3 per day.
- Antioxidants: Chia is rich in natural antioxidants that help prevent oxidative stress.
- Fiber: The same two tablespoons daily alone provide 30% of daily fiber needs. No more problems with constipation, no more ups and downs of sugar in diabetics and finished cravings. Chia indeed absorbs 14 times its weight in water: it slows digestion and the release of sugars in the body and creates, finally, a prolonged feeling of satiety. Taken at breakfast, the cereal reduces the urge to eat sugar, we can adopt as part of a plan.
- Proteins: Excellent source of essential amino acids, chia contains about 22% protein by weight. chia is therefore a good source of valuable proteins.
- Vitamins and minerals: chia is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and copper, while containing little sodium.
- Lose Weight: chia seeds can help in weight loss. Several studies have examined the soluble fiber glucomannan, which works in a similar way, showing that it can lead to weight loss. Also, the protein in chia seeds could help reduce appetite and food intake.
- Heart Disease: chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and omega-3s, they may reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that chia seeds can lower certain risk factors, including triglycerides, inflammation, insulin resistance and belly fat. They may also raise “good “ HDL cholesterol (Source1, Source2).
- Bone Health: Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The calcium content is particularly impressive 18% of the RDI in a single ounce (28 grams).
- Reduce Blood Sugar: High fasting blood sugar levels are a typical symptom of untreated type 2 diabetes. Consistently high fasting blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease (Source). Animal studies have found that chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, stabilizing blood sugar levels after meals (Source1, Source2, Source3).