Chia seed was used by members of the Aztec, Inca and Mayan cultures for centuries, being a very important part of their daily diet. It was much appreciated as a meal replacement, especially for the benefits they noticed in their health by consuming it.
Its scientific name is Salvia hispanica and today is grown mainly in the southern region of Mexico and parts of Guatemala, although it is also present in several regions of South America. The word chia is derived from the Aztec word “chian” which means oily and that pretty accurate description of the main characteristic of these seeds; what matters is that these oils are beneficial. The properties of chia can provide different health benefits.
Chia belongs to the same family as mint and is a plant that grows each year, reaching a height of about 90 cm and produces flowers, purple or white.
Chia seeds provide a valuable source of fiber, protein, high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 essential minerals; studies indicate that 2 tablespoons chia seeds contain 30% more antioxidants than one of the blackberries popular fruits with greater intake of antioxidants: moreover, the same amount contains more calcium than a glass of milk and a good dose of phosphorus and very little sodium, only 137 calories, absolutely no cholesterol or trans fat, 4 g protein, more iron than an equivalent amount of spinach and 11 g of fiber, which constitutes 42% of the recommended daily intake dose. Chia can be eaten as is obtained from the plant, ie, crude; or ground, dissolved in water, and can be an ingredient in various dishes. All properties chia make a true superfood and a great health benefit.
10 Health Benefits from eating Chia Seeds
- Rich in calcium. Chia seeds contain more calcium per gram than milk. This mineral is essential for bone strength and density, and pregnant and lactating mothers.
- It gives you lots of energy. The protein content in chia seeds is higher than in cereals, dairy products or meat. The combination of protein, vitamins, minerals and gel that balances blood sugar, all work together to ensure that the body has constant energy.
- It is easy to consume. For its neutral flavor, it can be a substitute for flour. Because become gelatinous in water, chia seeds can be added to the fresh fruit juices, soups and yogurt. It is also often added to baked goods like breads or crackers to fortify products. That is, is versatile and you can combine almost everything.
- Moisturizer. Chia seeds absorb water, so eat before a race or workout can help retain water longer.
- High cholesterol and blood pressure. Chia seeds are a source of Omega-3, which is good for the heart and for lowering cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that people suffering from any heart problems, have in their diet a variety of foods rich in fatty acids like Omega-3.
- Obesity. They provide a feeling of fullness that lasts long and can help reduce hunger and therefore become an important ally of the treatment of obesity and weight loss.
- Immune System. Because chia seeds are rich in antioxidants may be useful in strengthening the immune system and promotes cell regeneration. They contain more antioxidants per serving than fresh blueberries.
- Detoxification and elimination of radicals. As psyllium husks, the action of chia seeds help to reduce swelling in the body and calm while cleaning the colon absorbs toxins while helping to remove them. Chia seeds are a remedy for constipation.
- Source of protein . Miriam Gutierrez says that compared to other cereals such as rice or corn, this little seed has a protein content of 12 to 23g per 100g of food. Among the proteins containing amino acids include lysine and arginine like. In the United States, for example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and considers chia as a dietary supplement to complement the regulatory requirements of nutrient content established to be a healthy food.