Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
The exotic chia seeds are native to South and Middle America, but are becoming more and more popular throughout the world. This amazing plant has earned its place among organic healthy foods thanks to its health benefits. Chia seeds are rich in numerous essential nutrients and have a positive effect on the entire body.
As well as many other seeds, chia seeds have been used for their health benefits in the past. Their name means strength in the ancient Mayan language, and their health benefits are unquestionable.
Chia is also known as Saliva hispanica, and is native to Mexico and Guatemala, although it can also be found in Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay. The flowers are white and purple, and they later develop into the healthy chia seeds which can be white or black in color. The health benefits of the seeds were well known to the ancient Mayans and Aztecs, who ate them regularly and also used them for several rituals.
Although their benefits have been well-known for centuries, they are only now starting to be recognized throughout the world.
What’s their secret?
Store bought chia seeds are grown in ecologically certified soil, and the producers must fulfill certain European standards for organic crops. Chia seeds are grown without pesticides, artificial fertilizers and GMO which is why they’re rich in essential nutrients which positively affect the body. They are rich in healthy fatty acids and also hydrate, regenerate and re-energize the body. Chia seeds are a satiating food which stimulates digestion and improves the body’s absorption of certain nutrients.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants which improve our overall health. Antioxidants can fight the free radicals in the body and help with the removal of toxins while strengthening the immune system.
These healthy seeds contain substantial amounts of fibers which are essential for proper digestion. Fibers boost your metabolism and make you feel full for longer.
Manganese, phosphorus and copper
Chia seeds contain minerals such as manganese which plays a big role in the growth and development of bones and muscles. The phosphorus content regenerates and maintains your tissues, while copper regulates and maintains your heartbeat. Copper is the mineral we often lack, and chia seeds are a great source of this healthy nutrient.
Calcium and potassium
Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain twice the amount of potassium than bananas. Chia seeds also contain calcium, a mineral crucial for your bones, brain and nervous system.
Chia seeds are also rich in iron, another mineral vital for our health. Iron is a part of hemoglobin, a protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which account for a third of their content. This is why they’re known as the best source of these fatty acids which are important for several metabolic processes as well as your overall health. They are also rich in protein, which is why they’re often recommended to professional athletes.
Chia seeds are not rich in vitamins – they have a small amount of vitamin A, B, E and D, which are important for your eyesight, nails, hair, teeth, muscles and nerve tissue. They don’t have a lot of sugar or gluten which is why they’re an ideal food for different types of people. They are a great addition to many meals and are safe for diabetics, cardiovascular patients and people suffering from digestive issues.
How can you use chia seeds?
Chia seeds don’t have a particular flavor and don’t affect any other ingredients when consumed. They are mostly used as an addition to meals, enriching them with numerous nutrients. They can be added to salads, cookies, bread and pastry, but can also be combined with several dairy products. Ground chia seeds are usually added to yogurt or kefir.
They can be combined with numerous nuts and grains, but they work best with almonds, corn and millet. They can be added to cereals and different kinds of flakes. They are used during preparation of meat, added to soups and even in frying mixtures. Every time you add them to something, the nutritional profile of the meal rises instantly.
Chia seed recipes
Chia seeds are easily boiled and have a neutral flavor. They shouldn’t be fried because the thermal processing will eliminate many of their nutrients. Chia seeds absorb water well, and they are often soaked in water for 10 minutes before preparation. When they are soaked, they swell and become mushy, and can then be added to other meals.
Chia seeds pudding
Chia seeds can be used for numerous healthy meals. Here’s how to make a nutritional and healthy chia seeds pudding:
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of honey
3 dl. of coconut milk
Mix the ingredients well until you get a smooth texture, then leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, there should be a pudding-like mixture formed – leave it to room temperature for a while before serving. You can add fruit in the recipe if you like.
Chia quinoa biscuits
Chia seeds are often added to healthy snacks, like the following quinoa biscuits. Here’s how to prepare them:
5 tablespoons of chia seeds
150 gr. of quinoa flakes
50 gr. dates
50 gr. of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of almond butter
Half a liter of almond milk
A pinch of cinnamon
Preheat your oven at 180 C, and mix the chia seeds and almond milk in the meantime. Mash the bananas, then add the almond butter, quinoa, chia seeds and almond milk, and mix everything well until you get a smooth texture. In the end, add the dark chocolate and dates and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Make biscuit shapes out of the mixture and bake them on baking paper in the oven for about 20 minutes.