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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUPERFOOD CHIA SEEDS

by The Food Folks on July 05, 2021

Chia seeds in a glass jar

WHAT EXACTLY IS CHIA SEED?

The Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy and medicine. It is mostly grown in Central and South America, followed by Southeast Asia and Australia.

The word "chia" literally means "strong." They are available in black, spotted black, white, and grey, with sizes ranging from one to two mm.

These little seeds, when soaked in water, can keep you full for up to 24 hours!

 

8 PROVEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS

1. THE PROTEIN CONTENT IS EXTREMELY HIGH.
Chia seeds have a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in a 3:1 ratio.

Chia seeds are also high in vegetable protein because they contain all eight essential amino acids, which is unusual for a plant protein source.

Chia seeds are a good vegetarian or vegan protein supplement since they contain all of the essential amino acids.

However, due to the low lysine level, it is not advised for growing children.

2. HIGH FIBER.
Chia seeds contain a significant amount of fibre, which inhibits the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, resulting in long-lasting energy.

Athletes, persons with regular appetites, and diabetics all benefit from this effect.

Athletes and dieters have less of a desire for sweets or junk food. Diabetics keep their blood sugar levels under control.

3. THERE ARE PLENTY OF MINERALS AND TRACE ELEMENTS.
Chia is high in calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron. Boron, a trace element, is similarly beneficial to calcium absorption.

The seeds also include hormone-regulating, immune-building, and muscle-healing qualities.

4. GLUTEN-FREE.
For persons with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, they're a decent alternative to protein-rich cereals.

5. AIDS DIGESTION.
Soluble fibres help to reduce constipation and cleanse the intestines, which aids in the elimination of waste. This indicates that more nutrients will be absorbed once more.

Chia seeds can also help with heartburn and lower the risk of a variety of ailments.

6. WATER RETENTION.
If chia seeds are soaked before eating, they may hold a lot of fluids and aid in maintaining the body's water balance without being too heavy on the stomach, which is especially helpful during physical exercise.

7. ANTIOXIDANT- RICH FOOD.
They have so many antioxidants that they can protect their own fatty acids for four years and keep them for four to five years without losing nutritional value, taste, or odour.

With a proper intake of antioxidants, skin ageing and free radical damage can be avoided. 

8. HEART HEALTHY.
We're all aware that having high blood pressure increases the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Chia seeds contain a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, improves blood lipid and cholesterol levels, and lowers blood pressure. 

 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF CHIA

Chia seeds have earned the moniker "superfood" for good reason. The seeds are a fantastic source of protein for vegetarians and vegans who do not consume animal products but want to consume a high-protein diet and grow muscle.

CALCIUM
Chia seeds contain five times the calcium content of milk. The calcium content of chia is 630 mg per 100 g. By consuming 15 grammes of chia seeds every day, you may simply add 100 milligrammes of calcium to your diet. You can achieve your daily calcium need of 1000 mg without using dairy products. 

IRON
Chia seeds have twice the iron content of spinach. 15 grammes of chia seeds contain 1 milligramme of iron, which accounts for 7 to 10% of the daily requirement.
If you prefer to receive your iron from baked items, consume two large slices of mixed bread, each weighing 50 g.

ZINC
15 grammes of chia seeds contain 0.7 milligrammes of zinc. This quantity can be obtained from a slice of cheese, but if you have a dairy intolerance or are vegan, zinc from chia seeds is a good option. 

FIBER 
The typical Western diet is low in dietary fibre, which can contribute to a variety of digestive problems ranging from constipation to colon cancer.
Chia seeds provide 34 grammes of fibre. Soaking chia seeds creates a "gel" of soluble fibre, which is more digestible and effective than insoluble fibre.
Fibers aid in the improvement of intestinal flora, the absorption of toxins in the digestive tract, the management of blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and the promotion of bowel movement.

HOW MUCH CHIA SHOULD BE CONSUMED PER DAY?
Because chia seeds absorb a lot of water and swell quickly, you should limit yourself to no more than 2 tablespoons (28 grammes) every day. It's also important to drink plenty of water when eating chia seeds. 

WHERE TO BUY?
You can buy chia seeds online as well as at the health stores and in supermarkets, grocery stores, health food stores. 
Look for the nutritional value when shopping, as different brands contain varying levels of chia seeds owing to the soil in which they were grown. 

 

CHIA SEEDS: HOW DO YOU COOK OR PREPARE THEM?

Chia seeds can be prepared in a number of different ways. Because of its versatility, it can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes.

Soak
When chia seeds are exposed to water or milk, their volume increases tenfold

If you put 2 tablespoons of pre-soaked seeds in a glass of orange juice for breakfast, you'll be full until midday. Mix a tablespoon of chia with three times the amount of liquid, stir, and set aside for a quarter-hour to thicken. Mix the seeds with water, milk, or juice after seasoning them with chocolate powder or cinnamon.
Soaked seeds are wonderful egg alternatives when making vegan delights.

Sprinkle
Chia seeds can be sprinkled over porridge, yoghurt, or raw salads.

Roast
Cooking chia seeds loses the majority of the essential nutrients.
Chia seeds, on the other hand, can be roasted. You can roast the seeds for 2 to 3 minutes in a greased pan without any oil. Also, serve immediately.

Bake
Chia seeds can be baked into bread or pastries as an added vitamin.

GROUND
According to studies, the best form to consume is ground chia.
To grind the seeds, use a standard grain or coffee grinder. Then, because ground chia seeds decay quickly, eat them as soon as possible. Chia seeds can be ground and mixed into coffee, cocoa, and other beverages.
Ground chia is combined with water, lemon juice, and honey to make chia gel. A recipe for long-distance runners.

Oil
Squeezing the small seeds can collect approximately 40% of the oil. Chia oil is high in ALA and linoleic acid. Pay special attention to the manufacturing process while obtaining chia oil. Nutrient loss occurs when too much heat, water, or chemicals are used.

 

CAN CHIA HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?

Unlike most carbohydrates, proteins are metabolised more slowly by the body and have been proved to keep you satiated for longer.
Chia seeds contain vital amino acids that are easily absorbed by the body. They can be consumed raw, mixed into juices, or baked into various recipes.
Those who claim that eating chia seeds alone would help you lose weight are wrong.
According to scientific studies, eating a certain food does not result in weight loss.
Chia seeds have a high nutrient content and can help you lose weight when combined with a well-balanced diet and frequent exercise. 

 

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF CHIA?

In addition to their positive components and benefits, chia seeds have certain negative side effects.
Here are some of the most prevalent chia adverse effects: 

ALLERGIES 
There has been no evidence that chia seeds cause allergies. Skin rash, urticaria, watery eyes, difficulty breathing, and swollen tongues have all been described as adverse reactions.

Chia proteins, which are known allergens, have the potential to trigger allergic reactions. Avoid chia seeds if you are allergic to mustard, sage, rosemary, or thyme.

On the other hand, studies are now being conducted because chia seeds are thought to contain the antioxidant quercetin, which suppresses the production and release of histamines.

WATER ABSORPTION
Because chia seeds absorb a lot of water, it's important to drink enough of water when consuming them.

If you don't let them swell in water first, they will absorb the moisture in your stomach.

Similarly, the high fibre content can induce stomach problems. To avoid bloating or diarrhoea, gradually increase your fluid intake while decreasing your fibre intake.

INTERACTIONS WITH MEDICATION
If you're using blood thinners, or hypotensive medication, check with your doctor to determine if you can eat chia seeds.

It's likely that chia seed components and blood-thinning drugs interact in the body.

 

SHELF LIFE 

Chia seeds can last for years if stored in airtight containers in a dark, cold environment.

 

 

 

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