Chia, also known as Salvia Hispanica, is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae mint family. It naturally grows in southern parts of Mexico and in Guatemala.It is good to know that the name originates from the ancient Mayan word that means strength. This amazing plant was used to improve energy since ancient times. Mayan messengers were especially fond of it. Because of the popularity among these ancient time couriers, the Europeans who came in these areas centuries ago called Chia – the Indian Running Food.
Chia seeds come with a nice and mild taste and the best part is that you can use them in many different meals because it doesn’t affect the taste. People today use it in butter breads, smoothies, dressings etc.
The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds come with:
- Three times more iron than spinach
- 300% more antioxidant power than the power of blueberries
- 200% more potassium than the amount found in bananas
- Two times more protein compared to any other grain or seed
- Five times more calcium than milk and five times more boron – a rare mineral that helps the bones absorb calcium in a better way
- Great quantity of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
It is worth mentioning that chia seeds are packed with soluble fibre, essential amino acids and proteins.
These seeds are known to be very hydrophilic, which means that they have the ability to absorb water and create special mucilaginous gel. Chia seeds can absorb more than 10 times their weight in water in less than ten minutes.
Source of Antioxidants
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants. In addition, you can store them dry for five days and they won’t lose any of their properties. If you want to replace flaxseed, opt for chia seeds.
Support Weight Loss
Chia seeds have the ability to replace fat and calories when they are used in other food, but they don’t change the taste of any meal. In other words, you can eat the meals that you want and take only 50% of the calories that you have taken before.
The list of health benefits of chia seeds is much longer because these seeds can also:
- Manage blood sugar
- Stabilize digestion
- Boost energy
- Improve endurance
- Increase strength
- Aid the weight loss process.
So, chia seeds can be quite useful for people dealing with:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol levels
- Acid reflux
- Thyroid problems
- Celiac disease
Easily Digestible Seeds
When chia seeds are soaked in plain water, the body can easily process these seeds.
Water Absorption and Retention
These seeds can increase the length of hydration and keep the electrolytes especially in times of excretion.
As we have mentioned before, chia comes with a very mild taste and that’s why it can be used in many different recipes. You can use Chia in smoothies, dressings, sauces, juices, cookies, ice creams etc.
Pour one tablespoon of these seeds in a small amount of water and the seeds will remove the extra acid. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes and after that drink one cup of water. Chia seeds are highly hydrophilic and in case they need water they’ll take it from our tissues.
Detoxify the Intestines
Chia seeds have the ability to eliminate waste deposits that accumulate in the intestines and support proper bowel movement.
Absorption of Sugar
The gel from chia seeds can create a wall between carbs and digestive enzymes that can dissolve these carbs. This means that chia seeds slow down the process of turning carbohydrates into sugar.
Chia seeds are full of nutrients and this is why they have the ability to support fast tissue renewal. They are ideal for those who are healing from injuries and for women during breastfeeding period.