What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are edible seeds from species of flowering plants in the mint family, which is known as Salvia hispanica. This plant is native to southern and central Mexico and Guatemala. The chia itself means strength and the Aztec and Mayan cultures, these seeds are used as an energy booster. That makes sense, because chia seeds are concentrated foods containing calcium, antioxidants, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Some research has suggested to incorporate chia seeds as part of a healthy diet to help lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol. They are also an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, containing minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole grain foods that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). Chia seeds are easy to use, because you can add them in your daily diet, such as: rice, sauce or cereal. You also can mix chia seeds in your drink to make a jelly drink.
Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Dietary Fiber||34.4 g||0,91|
|Total Fat||30.74 g||1,02|
|Vitamin A||54 IU||0,02|
|Vitamin E||0.5 mg||0,03|
Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica), whole, dried,
Nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Helps relieve inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes.
This may be the most successful application of chia seeds up to date. In the study, 20 diabetic patients received either 37 grams of wheat bran or 37 grams of chia seeds, for 12 weeks.
When they got the chia seeds, they saw several health improvements, such as: an inflammatory marker called hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) went down by 40%, blood pressure went down by 3-6 mm/Hg, and a risk factor called vWF (Von Willebrand factor) also decreased by 21%.
Make you full for a longer time.
An ounce of chia seeds has 12 grams of carbohydrate. However, 11 of those grams actually are fiber. The true carb content is only 1 gram per ounce, so we can say that almost all the carbohydrates in them are fiber. You cannot count fiber as a carbohydrates, because it doesn’t require insulin to be disposed of and doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels. Because of this fiber content, chia seeds can absorb a lot of water, and becoming gel. Theoretically, this will help you eat less, increase fullness and improve the health of your digestive system by feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut.
Protect you from the effects of free radicals.
Another good news about chia seeds is their high amount of antioxidants. As we all already know that antioxidants are great to fight free radicals from pollution, prevent cell damage that can accelerate the aging process, even cause a variety of serious diseases, such as cancer. So, you consider yourself to add some chia seeds into your daily menu.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
Once you know that chia seeds contain iron, magnesium, calcium, antioxidants, fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, maybe now you have decided to eat them every morning. Wondering how to eat them, here several fun ways to enjoy this superfood.
In juice. If you enjoy drink juice every day, then you can try to add some chia seeds in it. At least, it will give a variation into your favorite beverage.
On yogurt. Before you enjoy your yogurt, try to sprinkle some chia seeds on it. It will give you a different experience of enjoying a bowl of yogurt and additional nutrients, of course.
In oatmeal. Add a few tablespoons of chia seeds in cooked oatmeal provide a great addition to start your activities in the morning.
In smoothies. If you feel do not like to eat your oatmeal, then you can try to mix chia seeds into a glass of smoothie. It will provide a refreshing taste, but still healthy for the body.