Chia Seeds are a source of vitamins and minerals, with their pleasant nutty flavor they serve to lose weight and control appetite, among other reasons, learn how to introduce to the diet and benefit from all the properties of these tiny seeds to your diet.
This seed has become popular almost everywhere in the world, taking over pantries around the world. Chia or Hispanic sage comes from Latin America and is closely related to other plants such as sage, basil, or thyme. It usually occurs especially in Mexico, and in other countries such as Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
Today, this plant has become a superfood with many properties and benefits for the body. But these properties were already known by the Aztec population that used this plant for many years to cope with some diseases. Over time and with advances in medicine this food was forgotten until a few years ago.
What are Chia seeds?
The Chia (Salvia Hispanica) is a plant from Central America, its seeds are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and although they were already used by the Mayans and the Aztecs, they fell into oblivion after European colonization, as I pass with other foods such as Quinoa or Amaranth. Luckily in the 21st century, many people have worked to revalue and make known these forgotten foods.
What are Chia seeds for?
These small seeds have gained great importance mainly because they are an important source of Omega3, in order to take advantage of this fatty acid the seed must be ground or chewed.
In addition, its high fiber content makes it ideal for constipation and is a great ally to reduce cholesterol.
The miraculous properties of Chia seeds.
Chia is a word of Mayan origin that means “Strength“, and this ancient civilization already knew about the great properties of these seeds.
They can be easily incorporated into any food from salads, sauces, pasta, rice almost does not alter the taste, they also combine with the sweet, in cakes, donuts, muffins, and almost anything. These small pumps of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that help fight fat and regulate body weight, are very simple to use.
They do not contain Gluten, have antioxidants, Omega 3 in much higher amounts than other seeds and are a great source of fiber.
They have 5 times more calcium than milk.They have 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries.They triple the amount of iron that spinach possesses.The double fiber that oats.They have more than twice the protein of any vegetable.And more potassium than banana.
10 Amazing Benefits of Chia Seeds.
1. Control cravings
Thanks to its large amount of fiber which give us a feeling of satiety, it is advisable to grind chia and hydrate it as well as its consumption at breakfast, a recipe that I usually use to make the most of all its properties is to mix chia with kefir in the morning.
2. Pleasant taste and do not alter the taste of the other foods
Chia has a nutty taste but somewhat more subtle, as we said before, the great advantage is that by integrating it with other foods it does not modify the taste of these. We must experiment and get out of the typical Chia salad as it goes well with almost anything.
3. Provide hydration to the body
These seeds can capture and retain 10 or 12 times their weight in water so they are like reservoirs of water once ingested that help keeps the body hydrated when it needs it.
4. Its large amounts of antioxidants help against aging
They are in themselves an Anti-Age product. A true superfood that helps against the effects of smoke, stress and all the problems caused by our current lifestyle. According to studies, it stops 70% of the activity of free radicals in the organism (2).
5. They are a great source of Omega 3
How we already mentioned is one of its main characteristics, they even have more Omega 3 than some fish, but we must remember that in order to take advantage of it you must grind or chew the seeds.
6. Help to lose weight
How we mentioned in the first point its high fiber content keeps us satiated, in addition, omega3 helps lower cholesterol and eliminate body fat, it also collaborates with intestinal transit and despite having a lot of energy inside its digestion due to the great The amount of fluids they capture is hypocaloric.
7. They are a great source of Energy
All these minerals and vitamins make them a true injection of energy and vitality in our body.
8. Help to gain muscle mass
Thanks to its large amount of fibers and proteins, it help regenerate muscle tissue. In addition, the energy contribution improves the overall performance of the locomotor system, which is why it is so recommended for athletes.
9. Soothes joint pain
The Omega 3 fatty acids that these seeds have have anti-inflammatory properties, so they are very helpful in cases of joint pain.
10. They are purifying
Last but not least, Chia seeds manage to eliminate fluids and toxins from our body, help regulate intestinal flora and prevent cellular oxidation, so they are a great purifier of our body and a source of health and youth.
10 Ways to Use Chia Seeds and Leaves
1. Chew the seeds
When you chew the chia seeds, their nutty flavor is released, they swell a little as they absorb the saliva, making them soft and ready for the trip to our stomach.
2. Soak and drink
Soaking the seeds first in water or juice makes them even easier to digest for our body. You have to wait long enough for the seeds to swell.
3. Add Chia to the smoothies
If you like milkshakes or your children you just have to add some chia seeds for more energy. It probably won’t be noticed while you drink, but then you’ll see!
4. Spread Chia seeds over food
Chia seeds can be sprinkled on breakfast cereals, jam on toast or a fresh salad. When I serve my homemade pumpkin soup, I add a tablespoon of sour cream and sprinkle chia seeds over the top of each bowl.
5. Eat Chia sprouts
The germination of Chia seeds increases their vitamin content and makes them even more nutritious. Like sprouted alfalfa and mung beans, sprouts chia are a great addition to the salad.
6. Drink Chia tea
The leaves, fresh or dried, serve to make a relaxing and therapeutic tea. Chia tea has been traditionally used to relieve fever and pain, to relieve arthritis and respiratory problems, such as gargle for sores and sore throat, and to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you want to sweeten your chia tea, use a healthy sweetener such as honey or stevia.
7. Add Chia to the bread mix
When baking bread, sometimes I throw a handful of chia seeds in the mixture. This is not the healthiest way to eat chia because essential fatty acids are not at their best when they are not cooked, but it makes the bread a little lighter and provides a pleasant change in texture.
8. Use Chia to feed the birds and animals
Chia leaves are used to feed chickens, pigs or other animals. The animals would also eat the seeds, but better save them to continue planting or eat them.
9. Chia as garden mulch
If you don’t have animals, Chia leaves can be used as mulch. However, if we do not remove all the seeds well, it is likely that chia plants will leave us in the middle of the terrace if we want to avoid this the other option is to put them in the compost.
10. Gift Chia
Chia is a wonderful gift. Putting the seeds in a beautiful jar or bottle, with a bow and a dedication can be an original and healthy gift.
How to take Chia seeds.
Chia seeds must be ground or chewed. In many dietary stores, they usually sell the already ground seeds as a supplement, but we can grind the seeds themselves with a blender.
It also helps to take advantage of the benefits of hydrating them and their consumption in raw. (5)
Contraindications of Chia
Chia is mainly used for weight loss, diabetes, high cholesterol, and constipation. Almost everyone can consume it but it is not necessary to exceed the maximum daily amounts of about 30 grams (3 tablespoons), since its high fiber content can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea.
It can also alter the effect of some medications so if we consume any specific medication we should consult with the doctor.
In the case of diabetes, although it is recommended, the effect of insulin and medication can also be altered, so blood glucose should be monitored and measured on a regular basis.