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Nutritional benefits of consuming Chia seeds

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia Hispanics, a flowering plant in the sage family (Lumiaceae). They come from the desert plant, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.

Chia seeds are unprocessed, whole grown food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2tablespoons )contains 139 calories, 4grams of proteins, 9grams fat, 12grams carbohydrates and 11grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.

The mild, nutty flavour of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes or yoghurt or mixed with drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel.

They are oval and gray with black and white spots, having a diameter around, 1millimetre (0.04in). The seeds are hydrophilic (it means an entity that is attracted to water molecules and tends to be dissolved by water ),absorbing up to 12times their weight in liquid when soaked and developing a mucilaginous (a thick, gluey substance produced by nearly all plants and some micro-organisms ) coating that gives Chia-based foods and beverages a distinctive gel texture.

Chia seeds may be sprinkled or ground up on top of other foods. They can also be mixed into smoothies, breakfast cereals, energy bars, granola bars, yoghurt, tortillas and bread. They can be soaked in water and consumed directly or mixed with any kind of juice to make chia fresca or with milk. Chia seed pudding, similar to tapioca pudding, is made with a type of milk, sweetener and whole chia seeds. Chia seeds may also be ground and made into a gelatin-like substance or eaten raw. The gel from ground seeds maybe used to replace as much as 25% of the egg and oil content in cakes. Unlike flaxseeds, and despite popular misconception, chia seeds are digestible whole and do not need to be ground. The human body absorbs the same nutrients from chia seeds regardless of whether the seeds are dry or soaked and regardless of whether they are whole or ground.

Chia seed is rich in polyunsaturated fat as Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, zinc. Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28grams ) contains about 140 calories, 4grams of protein, 11grams of fiber, 5.8grams of water ,7grams of unsaturated fat, 18% RDA (Required daily acceptance ) for calcium and trace minerals including zinc and copper. They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are complete protein, containing all nine essential amino-acids that cannot be made by the body.

Despite their small size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants and they provide fiber, iron and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL (High density level) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.

Because chia seeds taste so mild with only a slightly nutty flavour, they can be added to almost anything, sweet or savory, without any issue. Some people even like to crunch them all by themselves. Dictated by the color of the flower, there are two main types of Chia seeds, black and white.

Chia seed leaf

Content created and supplied by: DaRedeemed (via Opera News )

Chia Hispanics Mayan Mexico Salvia

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