Why Chia Seeds are a Superfood

Chia Seeds – The Secret Superfood

Did you ever imagine that a potent superfood could be hiding on your window sill, appearing as a dog, a hedgehog or even a troll? Chia seed, most famous for their use as “Chia Pets” – has been proven to be an exciting health food offering surprising benefits. In spite of our perception of this humble seed, this ancient food is assuming its rightful role on our dinner tables.

What Exactly is Chia?

Chia is an edible seed that originates from a plant in the mint family: the desert plant Salvia hispanica, from parts of Guatemala and Mexico. They have historically been known to be the most crucial part of the plant and were eaten whole and utilized to make oil and flour.

The 16th century Codex Mendoza offers proof that chia was grown by the Aztecs in pre-Columbian times and was as crucial a food crop as maize. Chia seeds were an essential food of Mayan and Aztec diets and were the foundation survival provision of Aztec warriors.

What Are the Advantages of Chia?

Chia seed is a nutrient powerhouse that offers lots of advantages, from suppressing hunger and promoting weight-loss to alleviating joint pain and anxiety. Here are five powerful chia seed dietary benefits.

  1. Soluble fiber – Chia seed consists of copious amounts of soluble fiber, that assists in preventing irregularity and can shield against heart challenges and general toxicity in the body. Adults need at least 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories taken in. As such, we typically require about 35-40 grams of fiber a day. Regretfully, the majority of people get around 10 grams a day, so increasing the daily fiber dose should be a primary focus. Luckily, just 1 oz. of chia seed (Approximately 3 tablespoons) has 11 grams of dietary fiber and is a great way to fulfill your daily fiber goals.
  2. Protein – An oz. of chia seeds supplies over 4 grams of protein that contains all 9 vital amino acids along with some supplementary non-essential ones. This total protein is simple for your digestive system to absorb and doesn’t bring the undesirable elements of other vegetable-source proteins like soy. Soy protein isolate, typically used in vegetarian meat alternatives and energy bars, is an almost indigestible product that is extracted with poisonous chemical solvents. It’s developed almost completely from genetically modified soy plants that have been heavily sprayed with harmful chemical pesticides and herbicides. The advantage, in this case, falls to Chia.
  3. Minerals – Chia seed is high in numerous essential minerals. A one oz. serving offers 18% daily RDI of calcium, 30% daily RDI of manganese, 27% of the daily RDI of phosphorus and is also high in boron, which helps the body soak up and utilize calcium.
  4. Antioxidants – Chia is also rich in anti-oxidants that will preserve the seed’s health and keep it from spoiling, however they will also supply many health advantages. Here are the fundamental antioxidants found in chia seeds and how they might enhance your health.

>  Quercetin – Research has revealed that an antioxidant found in chia called quercetin significantly enhanced energy, endurance and physical fitness in healthy people who were not performing some kind of regular physical training. It can likewise minimize the impact of seasonal allergies and decrease swelling related to prostatitis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, quercetin has been linked to promoting immune system and bone health.

>  Chlorogenic Acid – This chia anti-oxidant has actually been discovered to have anti-cancer properties and may be effective in avoiding development of specific brain tumors. It can also hinder the release of glucose into the blood stream, reducing the danger of developing type 2 diabetes. Chlorogenic acid likewise helps increase the circulation of bile, relieving bile stagnancy and promoting gallbladder and liver health. It can likewise help to minimize the chance of cardiovascular illness.

>  Caffeic Acid – This chia seed anti-oxidant can help prevent colitis (a condition that might result in colon cancer) heart disease, inflammation and specific cancers. It may also be utilized in healthy immune system maintenance.

  1. Omega-3 – Chia is loaded with essential omega-3 fatty acid, more than found in flax seed and even salmon, ounce for ounce. The omega-3 fat in chia supports efficient brain function, healthy skin, balanced moods and cardiovascular health.

Another Motivation to Eat Chia

Chia seeds also have outstanding hydrophilic (water holding) properties and can soak up about 9 times their weight in fluid. When taken with a glass of water, chia seed’s tendency to retain water assists you to remain consistently hydrated over a longer period, and keep electrolytes in your bodily fluids. This quality is a great advantage for athletes who want to remain hydrated and preserve peak energy levels while working out or competing.

Chia’s hydrophilic properties also make it an ideal for weight-loss. When chia soaks up fluids, it naturally expands, making you feel fuller longer with less calories, but with more nutrition. This is a really healthy way to lower your calorie intake without denying yourself nutrition or satisfaction.

Can I Simply Eat Flax Seed Instead?

Why chia seed when flax seed is simple to find and so inexpensive? There are a few good reasons. The shell of the chai seed is quickly broken down, even when swallowed whole. This is a huge advantage over flax seed, which must be ground for your body to process it. If you eat flax seed whole, it will simply pass right through your digestive system, undigested. When flax is ground, it begins to oxidize, or go rancid, right away, but will only add free radicals to your body if you consume it. Chia gains the obvious advantage here as well.

In addition, chia does not include the toxic substances and harmful compounds that flax does. Flax consists of chemicals called goitrogens that may negatively affect the thyroid and prevent it from functioning properly, among other things. Chia likewise consists of many more nutrients than flax, clearly making it the best choice between the two.

How Best to Use Chia

You may be surprised to learn that chia seed has almost no taste of its own and is the easiest healthy food to add to your diet plan. You can bake with it, use it as an oil replacement in recipes or utilize it as a thickening agent in sauces, salad dressings and gravies. Try these simple ideas for using chia seeds in your daily diet:

  • Grow Your Own – Chia microgreens or sprouts are easily grown and fantastic on sandwiches or in salads, pesto or stir fry. To effectively grow your own, use a wide, shallow dish (about 2-3″ deep) with potting soil or a soil-free seed starter mix. Sprinkle on your chia seeds and water every day. You will have fresh sprouts in just a few days that can be harvested over and over. Just snip, rinse and use. Keep in mind that as the greens mature, they gain a slightly fuzzy texture, so it’s best to harvest the young plants.
  • Chia Gel – One of the finest and easiest ways to achieve the most nutrient value from your chia seeds is to create chia gel. Stir chia seeds into water (1 part seeds to 9 parts water) and leave them to soak for 24 hours or overnight, at least. Soaking the seeds activates their germination, making them easier to digest and enhances their already high nutrient content exponentially. The gel can then be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks for use in salad dressings, smoothies, or other recipes.
  • Lazy Chia – Should you still feel this is just too much work for you, benefits can be achieved by simply taking a tablespoon of chia seeds orally and washing them down with water. Even people who have trouble swallowing pills find the seeds go down easily. Do this every night right before bed and you will find it helps avoid the normal overnight dehydration by gradually releasing water.

Chia Seeds, Not Just a Fun Decoration

It’s highly recommended you familiarize yourself with the chia seed and incorporate it into your day-to-day diet. Take your cherished chia pet off the window sill, judiciously apply some scissors and put the trimmings on a salad, over fish or into a sauce or dressing.






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