The chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) is the edible seed of a flowering plant in the mint family. The seeds have a long history and are originally from Mexico and Guatemala. Other common names include Salba chia and Mexican chia.
They were an important staple food in ancient Mesoamerican and Aztec societies. The seeds played a significant role in people’s diets and had therapeutic uses.
Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Australia, and the United States are only some of the modern commercial producers of chia. The seeds have long been appreciated as a nutritious food source. Before you read on, check this helpful app MyPlate Calorie Counter which is ideal for losing weight and managing your diet.
Chia seeds have a high concentration of antioxidants and are rich in essential nutrients. Antioxidants come in many forms:
- Caffeic acid.
- Chlorogenic acid
The health advantages provided by these nutrients are numerous and vital.
· Reduced Free Radicals
Chia seeds include antioxidants that can help your body neutralize free radicals. Oxidative stress and cell damage are both brought on by free radicals. The chance of acquiring several free-radical-related health problems, including heart disease, cognitive decline, and certain types of cancer, may be lowered by eating foods rich in antioxidants.
· Improved Cardiac Health
Quercetin, an antioxidant found in chia seeds, has decreased the chance of acquiring various diseases. The seeds have a high fiber content, which helps minimize the risk of hypertension and subsequent heart disease.
· Reduced Levels of Blood Sugar
Compared to other seeds, chia seeds have a lot of fiber. The risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes has been shown to decrease when dietary fiber intake is increased. Moreover, you can avoid high blood sugar by eating chia seed bread, as it has been demonstrated through scientific studies to cause a smaller rise in blood sugar than regular bread.
· Minimized Inflammation
The constant irritation of the body’s immune system might result in severe diseases like cardiovascular illness and cancer. Inflammatory markers are widely used as diagnostic tools for inflammatory diseases, and regular consumption of chia seeds may help to lower these markers. Chia seeds have an antioxidant called caffeic acid, which can help reduce inflammation.
· Better Weight Control
These seeds can aid weight maintenance by making you feel full on fewer calories. The dietary fiber content of a single ounce of chia seeds is 39% of the daily value. When you eat these seeds, their soluble fiber will absorb water and swell, making you feel full faster.
· Increased Bone Density
Nutrient-for-nutrient, chia seeds out-calcium dairy products. Bone-supporting elements found in chia seeds include magnesium and phosphorus. The seeds provide 18% of the daily value for calcium, an essential mineral for strong bones, muscles, and nerves.
The various nutrients found in these seeds include:
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in chia seeds; a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is related to lower chances of chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory disorders.
Per-Serving Nutrient Values
Chia seeds, in a 1-ounce (28.35 gram) serving, offer:
- The calorie count is 138.
- 8 grams of fat
- 12 g of carbs
- Weighing in at 4.7 grams of protein
- The number of grams of fiber is 9.8 per 100 grams of body weight.
- There are no sugars in this recipe.
Worrisome Red Flags to Keep an Eye Out for
Chia seeds have many positive health effects, however, excessive consumption might be harmful.
Possible Stomach Pains: They are high in fiber, consequently leading to gastrointestinal issues, including bloating, gas, and constipation if consumed in excess. Furthermore, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s may have a flare-up after finishing chia seeds.
Crushing or suffocation risk present: When combined with water, chia seeds expand and take on a gelatinous consistency, but only if they’re eaten dry. Choking can occur if dry chia seeds lodge in the throat’s back. Pre-soaking the sources for 5-10 minutes eliminates this danger.
Adverse Drug Reactions: Lowering blood sugar and blood pressure are two of the many health benefits of these seeds. Eating too many of these seeds can produce dangerously low blood sugar and blood pressure, especially if you are taking medication for diabetes or hypertension.
Allergies: Chia seed allergies are incredibly unusual, although they do occur. Allergens can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. You should not ignore Itching of the mouth and tongue, as well as other symptoms.
Getting Chia Seeds Ready to Eat
You can purchase Chia seeds in their whole form at any supermarket or health food store that sells bulk foods. Moreover, you can also get them online.
You should keep them in a cold, dry, dark area. If you choose to grind your seeds before storing them, do so in an airtight container or bag and keep them in a cool, dark place.
You can use them in a wide variety of dishes. You can get them ready in a variety of ways, such as:
- Make chia pudding by combining the chia seeds with milk or fruit juice and topping it with cacao nibs or fresh fruit
- In the baking world, this means developing a substitute for eggs to utilize in products like cakes and bread
- Add to muffin batter
- Add chia gel to your homemade soups and smoothies
- Use them while making a bowl of cereal or a salad
- Create chia sprouts by soaking the seeds
- You can use them to make chicken bread combined with almond flour and spices.
- Add them to homemade energy bars