Chia seeds - what is it?
Chia seeds are the main superfood of the past few years. According to the advertisement, “This 100% natural supplement contains an unprecedented amount of nutrients; chia overtakes milk in terms of calcium, potassium in them is 2 times more than in bananas, and iron is 15 times more than in spinach. ” However, are chia grains a leader in iron content ?
Studies confirm that chia seeds are a great product for proper nutrition. They contain vegetable omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, and a rare kind of water-insoluble fiber . Due to its characteristics, seeds can be considered superfood - a food product that is extremely rich in important nutrients.
Chia seeds can be used both in salads, and grind grains into flour and add during baking. In addition, chia can be used for medicinal purposes - for example, with difficulties with digestion, a decoction or infusion of chia seeds gently and safely weakens.
What is chia?
The chia plant is known to the botanical community as "Spanish Sage." In fact, this is an annual plant up to 2 m high with white or dark blue flowers giving black seed seeds. Homeland - Central and Southern Mexico. Prior to the Spanish colonization, chia, along with spirulina and corn, was a key product in the Aztec diet.
The benefits of chia seeds are that they improve digestion and normalize metabolism. Their omega-3s help eliminate various microinflammation in the body and help lower bad blood cholesterol levels. Fiber, in turn, lowers insulin levels and acts as a biotic. In addition, tryptophan contained in chia seeds is important for a good mood.
Chia seeds - useful properties
Research suggests that eating chia seeds regularly helps reduce the amount of microinflammation in the body¹. Indirectly, this affects lowering blood pressure and also helps the body fight bad cholesterol . In addition, fiber from grains is able to absorb a large amount of water, filling the stomach and serving as nutrition for beneficial bacteria.
What are the benefits of chia seeds:
- Lower cholesterol . Due to the content of omega-3 fatty acids and a rare type of water-insoluble fiber, chia can affect blood cholesterol, increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol. The difference between their fiber is that it is able to absorb large amounts of water.
- Reduce hunger . Since chia seeds contain a lot of fiber, they quickly relieve hunger and provide a long-lasting feeling of fullness. You can keep a bag of chia seeds in a bag, if necessary washing down a handful of seeds with water - a technique of the ancient Aztecs.
- Contain a lot of antioxidants . The chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid in the seeds are strong natural antioxidants. Chia also contains phytonutrients myricetin, quercetin and kempferol - they are useful for immunity.
- A source of essential amino acids . The protein profile of chia seeds is complete, and they contain essential amino acids lysine, methionine, and others important for metabolism. Eating chia is especially beneficial for vegetarians - in fact, they can replace meat.
- Contain omega-3 fatty acids. They are one of the leaders in the content of plant-based Omega-3s, which reduce the level of various inflammations in the body. However, the best way to take in this case is to use chia seed oil.
- Good for intestinal health . A decoction of chia seeds has the properties of a probiotic - that is, it improves the condition of the intestinal microflora. In addition, chia is safely weakened (when taken at night), without having side effects and contraindications.
- Contain a lot of minerals. Chia seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and calcium important for metabolism. 100 g of seeds contain 94% of the daily norm of magnesium, 63% of the norm of calcium and 59% of the norm of iron. Recall that magnesium restores the nervous system, and iron is good for the circulatory system.
Chia seeds for stomach function
As a tool to cleanse the intestines and a natural remedy for combating constipation, chia seeds should be taken at night. Mix three tablespoons of grains, a teaspoon of coconut oil and 100 ml of warm water (or milk), let it brew for 30-40 minutes. Take immediately before going to bed.
How to take chia seeds:
- as a source of vitamins and fiber - 1 tablespoon per day
- as a means to cleanse the intestines - 3 tablespoons at night
The composition and content of useful nutrients
100 g of chia seeds contain up to 17 g of omega-3s - the same amount as in a large salmon steak. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that they contain vegetable Omega-3s, while in salmon they contain animals. Scientific studies show that no more than 5-10% of omega-3 vegetable fats (in the form of α-Linolenic acid, or ALA) are able to be absorbed by the human body³.
In fact, a tablespoon of seeds is equivalent to only 0.3-0.5 g of fish oil, which is less than a standard capsule. It is important to take this into account when calculating the daily intake of omega-3s, preferring chia seed oil. The role is played by the fact that chia seeds are covered with a fairly dense shell of water-insoluble fiber - in total this fiber accounts for about 30% of the total weight of dry seeds.
Chia seeds, composition and KBZhU:
|Content per 100 g||Serving Per Serving (10 g)|
|Calorie content||486 kcal||49 kcal|
|Carbohydrates||42 g||4.2 g|
|- of which fiber||34 g||3.4 g|
|Fats||30.7 g||3.1 g|
|- of which vegetable omega-3s||17 g||1.7 g|
|Squirrels||16 g||1.6 g|
The content of minerals and vitamins
Note that the actual content of minerals and vitamins in chia seeds (in terms of percentages of the daily value) is indicated below - without taking into account how many of these substances will be absorbed by the body of a particular person. Recall that since the seeds are covered with a dense shell, this can interfere with their digestion. That is why ground chia and various decoctions are better absorbed.
|Content per 100 g||Serving Per Serving (10 g)|
|Vitamin B 1||54%||5.4%|
|Vitamin B 2||fourteen%||1.4%|
|Vitamin B 3||59%||6%|
Chia - the story of the plant
Chia ( salvia hispanica, Spanish sage) is one of the key plants of the ancient Aztecs. It was used for medicinal purposes, and also consumed as food - chia seeds were appreciated for their nutritional properties. Cakes were made from ground flour, and warriors took a bag of grains on hikes to satisfy hunger.
Note that chia is a relative of the common sage ( salvia ). Tea from its fragrant leaves was used both in ancient Greece and in ancient Egypt. Hippocrates called sage a sacred herb and advised using the essential oil obtained from its flowers to strengthen and rejuvenate the body.
Chia in the Aztec culture
In the Aztec culture, chia seeds paid taxes to the clergy and tribute to the nobility, and the grains themselves were the main part of religious ceremonies - they were sacrificed to the Aztec gods. The capital of the empire annually received from the conquered peoples more than 15,000 tons of chia, which were considered a symbol of life, strength and power.
After the conquestadors conquered the Aztecs, the chia plantations were completely burned. Already in modern times, a forgotten plant was found in the remote mountains of Paraguay. In the early 1990s, crops were restored in Argentina, and today chia is growing in many countries around the world.
The benefits of chia in traditional medicine
The ancient Aztecs believed that the use of a decoction of ground chia seeds can cure respiratory diseases - from a built-up cough to serious pulmonary diseases accompanied by expectoration of blood. Also, grains were used for diseases of the stomach.
Chia seeds are edible grains of the chia plant, which is a close relative of sage. They contain a number of vitamins, vegetable omega-3s and a rare type of water-insoluble fiber. The benefits of chia are confirmed by scientific research - primarily due to their mechanical effects on digestion, and due to the properties of phytonutrients that are included in them.
- Salvia hispanica: Examine.com, source
- Salvia officinalis: WebMD, source
- Efficiency of conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to long chain n-3 fatty acids in man, source
- Cholesterol: Genetic, Clinical and Natural Implications, source
- Seeds, chia seeds, dried Nutrition Facts & Calories, source