Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia Hipanica, a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) native to central and southern Mexico, or of the related Salvia columbariae of the southwestern United State and Mexico. Chia seeds are oval and gray with black and white spots, having a diameter around 1 millimeter (0.04 in). The seeds are hydrophilic, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked and developing a mucilaginous coating that gives chia-based foods and beverages a distinctive gel texture.
Chia seeds are full of important nutrient. Cultivated by the Astecs in pre-Columbian times and was a staple food for Mesoamerican cultures. Chia seeds are cultivated on a small scale in their ancestral homeland of central Mexico and Guatemala and commercially throughout Central and south America.
In the 21st century, chia is grown and consumed commercially in its native Mexico and Guatemala, as well as Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Australia. New patented varieties of chia have been developed in Kentucky for cultivation in northern latitudes of the United States.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS
Despite their small size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients.
They are the excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, and calcium.
Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protect against heart attack and stroke.
FACTS ON CHIA SEEDS:
Here are some key points about chia seeds. More detail is the main article.
. Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium.
. A 28 grams, or 1-ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein.
. Mixed with water, they can replace egg in vegan cooking.
. Chia seeds can be eaten cooked or raw, but they should be added to another food or soaked before eating
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a 28-grams or one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains:
. 8.4 grams of fats
. 13.07 grams of carbohydrate
. 11.2 grams of fiber
. 5.6 grams of protein
. No sugar
Eating one ounce of chia seeds each day would provide 18 percent of daily calcium needs, 27 percent of phosphorus, 30 percent manganese, and smaller amounts of potassium and copper.
Chia seeds provide more omega-3s calcium, phosphorus, and fiber than flaxseeds. Most people do not consume enough of these essential nutrients.
CHIA SEEDS HELP LOSE WEIGHT – the high protein and fiber content of chia seeds may help suppress appetite.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, boasting 9.75 grams (g) per 1 ounce (oz) serving. They also contain 4.69 g of protein per serving.
Both fiber and protein can temporarily suppress appetite by making a person feel fuller for longer. Moreover, each serving of chia seeds contains only 138 calories, making them a low calorie, nutrient dense a snack.
Two tablespoon of chia seeds have almost 10 grams of fiber. That’s around 40 percent of the recommended daily intake. Diets high in fiber have been linked to weight loss. According to 2015 research, eating 30 grams of fiber daily may help you lose as much weight as if you followed a more complicated diet.
CHIA SEEDS – May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease Given that chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and omega-3s, they may reduce your risk of heart disease… Rat studies have shown that chia seeds can lower certain risk factors, including, triglycerides, inflammation, insulin resistance and belly fat.
Plant-based food have long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditons, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality.
They have been shown to support a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
High-fiber diets have been shown to decrease the prevalence in flare-ups of diverticulitis by absorbing water in the colon and making bowel movements easier to pass.
Eating a healthful, fiber-filled diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables can reduce pressure and inflammation in the colon.
The exact causes of diverticular disease are not known, but the condition has repeatedly been associated with a low fiber diet.
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND CHOLESTEROL
Increased fiber intake has been shown to lower blood pressure and Cholesterol levels.
A review of 67 separate controlled trials found that even a modest 10grams per day increase in fiber intake reduced LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol.
Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
While there aren’t many studies on the effect of chia on blood glucose and insulin resistance, a 2017 study suggest that chia seeds may have the ability to convert glucose into a slow-release carbohydrate. This could have a positive effect on people with type 2 diabetes.
High-fiber diets are associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes, and eating high-fiber meals helps to keep blood sugar stable.
Based on a review of findings from several large studies. The national Institute of Medicine found that diets with 14g of fiber for every 1,000 calorie were associated with significant reduction in the risk of both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
DIGESTION AND DETOX
A diet with adequate fiber prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Regular bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxin through the bile and stool.
OMEGA-3s TO FIGHT HEART DISEASE
Research suggests that omega-3s can decrease the risk for thrombosis and arrhythmias, disorder that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and sudden cardiac death.
Omega-3s may also decrease LDL total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce atherosclerotic plaque, improve endothelial function, and slightly lower blood pressure.
The richest sources of plant-bases omege-3s are chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, hempseed oil, and walnuts.
CHIA SEEDS AND THE POWER OF FIBER
The United States (U.S) dietary guidelines for 2015 to 2020 suggest that men under the age of 50 years should consume 30.8 grams (g) of fiber per day and women under the age of 50 years should consume 25.2 g per day.
For adults over 50 years of age, the recommendation for men is 28g per day. And for women, it is 22.4g per day. Most people consume less than half of that is recommendation.
The easiest way to increase fiber intake is to eat more plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nut, seeds, and unprocessed grains. Just one ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber, almost half the daily recommendation for a woman over 50 years.
Raw, they can be sprinkled on cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. They can also also be eaten cooked, added to baked goods like bread and muffins.
Mixing 1-2 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoon of water, then let them sit for a few minutes. A gel will form that can be used instead of eggs in baking.
POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS OF CONSUMING CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water.
One man with a history of swallowing problems developed an esophageal obstruction after he ate a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and then tried to wash them dowm with a glass of water.
The seeds formed a thick gel in his esophagus that he was unable to swallow without medical treatment
This was a rare case, but it highlights the importance of mixing chia seeds into another food or liquid before consuming, especially for people with a history of swallowing Problems. Small children should not be given chia seeds.
Always soaked chia seeds for about 30mins. Then you will observed a forming gel. Then again you can start your favorite smoothies, or with yogurt or oatmeal