These tiny edible seeds are from flowering plant; commonly known as chia its scientific name is Salvia hispanica. These are commercially cultivated in Northwest Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and its cultivation cycle is about 100-150 days.
But don’t just go on its size; chia seeds are packed with number of nutrients like fiber, iron, calcium and are rich in antioxidant properties as well.
It is believed that chia seeds can replace eggs because of the amount of proteins it has. That is equivalent to 5.6 grams equal to an egg.
Read on to know how chia seeds can benefit us…
Chia seeds have good amounts of fiber; fiber rich foods makes you feel fuller for long hours. Foods high in fiber and chia seeds specially being low in calories may help to lose weight. Along with fibers, it is full with omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid which is another compound that aids weight loss.
Due to limited studies for this, there are no specific effects of chia seeds seen in obese.
Little seeds of protein
They are 14% protein in weight; the highest of protein amongst plants. Chia seeds is a good source of protein for people who choose vegan diets or no animal products.
Protein is used by the body to build and repair tissue. It is important for building bones and muscles in our body.
Chia seeds, rich source of omega 3 fatty acids
Chia seeds are good sources of omega-3s which are known to reduce the risk of arrhythmias- irregular heartbeat condition and other disorders related to heart like stroke and cardiac deaths.
Omega-3s are also known for reducing LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure as well.
Good for bone health
Bones, along with calcium needs phosphorus, magnesium and protein to stay strong and healthy. Chia seeds are packed with these nutrients and hence they benefit your bones as well.
Chia seeds have 18% calcium (RDI) in 28 grams; which is more than many of the dairy products. Those who are vegan or choose just dairy free diet, its an excellent option.
Chia as natural antioxidant
These seeds are loaded with antioxidants that wards of free radicals which causes damage to cell molecules and aging.
When free radicals accumulate they cause oxidative stress. And this stress leads to many other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart problems.
May help with regulating blood sugar levels
High sugar levels lead to chronic disease like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases.
Normally, sugar levels may hike after every meal; this can too have bad effects on health. Chia seeds help improve insulin secretion which controls the blood sugar levels naturally in the body.
Consuming chia seeds is excellent for post meals or otherwise rising sugar levels.
Nutritious chia seeds
These tiny seeds are packed with many nutrients like fiber, protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and some antioxidants. Don’t you think these are so many for such tiny seeds and nutritious. All of these some or the other way help either your bones, heart, controls inflammation or weight loss.
Some studies say these seeds can also aid raise the good cholesterol-HDL.
Lack of studies on the benefits may not prove completely that all of these work best for everyone, but they have shown progressive effects. Consult a nutritionist if you are confused whether they will show beneficial effects to you as well or not.
Ways to consume Chia seeds
There are many ways you can consume chia seeds in your meals such as
- Chia Water; as simple as it sounds. Add 40 gm (1/4 cup) chia seeds in 1 liter of water, let the seeds soak in for 20 mins and then start sipping on this water.
- Chia in bread; bake it with your bread. Put these seeds when you make the batter for your bread and bake it as you would normally do.
- Chia jam. Not for the ones who do not like gooey texture of soaked chia seeds and on top its even sticky jam. But chia seeds added while making jam and adding natural sweetness by fruits like berries is definitely a win win situation!
- An amazing substitute of egg is chia seeds. 1 tbsp. soaked chia seeds 3 tbsp. water can substitute 1 egg for recipes.
- Add it in your dips. Its for both homemade or store bought dips; add some chia seeds in it.
- Like bread bake some muffins and add your nutritious seeds in them.
- Chia seeds make an excellent and extremely nutritious topping for yogurts. Ground them or just sprinkle on top as whole seeds.
- Add chia seeds in your salad dressing or directly for some crunch.
- Chia bars are available in store like other protein or breakfast bars.
You can add chia seeds in so many of food item. Experiment with some your regular meals and see how do you like them.
The Bottom line
Chia seeds are packed with number of nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, proteins and are natural antioxidants. Next time you go for grocery shopping make sure you add these tiny super nutritious seeds called chia seeds and start consuming and continue to regularly to gain it benefits.