Chia seeds are frequently featured as the star ingredient in many healthy eating recipes, ranging from baked goods to protein bars to smoothies and beyond. Apart from offering a pop of flavor and texture to your favorite foods, these seeds are also highly nutritious and bring a long list of chia seeds benefits to the table, including increased energy levels, balanced blood sugar and improved heart health.
There are several types of Chia that differ in the place of growth and seed color:
- White Chia, also called narrow-leaved sage. It grows in Mexico and South America.
- Black Chia or pigeon sage. It grows in the center and South of Mexico and Guatemala.
Experts believe that the properties of both types of product are the same, and the only difference is the color of the seeds.
Top Chia Seeds Benefits
The benefits of Chia seeds are due to their composition. It is represented by the following elements:
- B vitamins-thiamine, Riboflavin, nicotinic acid, folate.
- Ascorbic acid.
In terms of calcium content, Chia seeds exceed cow’s milk by 5 times. They contain 13 times more fiber than bananas and almost 10 times more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than salmon.
Chia seeds are also rich in amino acids, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Due to this composition the product has the following useful properties:
- Normalization of digestive processes, stimulation of the intestines.
- Stabilization of the nervous system.
- Improved heart function.
- Strengthening of blood vessels and increasing their elasticity.
- Reducing the level of bad cholesterol, prevention of atherosclerosis.
- Strengthening of bones and teeth.
- Reducing the body’s sensitivity to various allergens.
- Normalization of sleep.
- Improvement of blood composition and transport function.
- Normalization of water-salt balance in the body, elimination of edema or dehydration.
- Protection of the body from viruses.
- Normalization of metabolic processes.
- Improvement of the endocrine system, normalization of hormone production.
- Increasing the body’s stress resistance.
- Reducing the risk of cancer.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Slowing the aging of tissues.
- The decrease in the level of glucose in the blood.
- Improved sensitivity to insulin.
Chia seeds are quite high in protein, so they are useful for people who adhere to vegetarianism. They do not eat animal proteins, so it is especially important for them to get enough of these organic substances from plant products.
Thanks to the normalization of metabolism, digestive processes and water-salt balance, Chia seeds are useful for weight loss. Together with the product’s ability to reduce the amount of glucose in the blood, this makes it popular for people with type 2 diabetes, who are often overweight.
The presence of many useful properties provide a versatile effect of Chia seeds on the body. As a result, the functioning of various internal organs and systems improves, positive external changes occur – weight loss, improvement of the skin, hair and nails.
How Much Chia Seeds Per Day?
You should not exceed the recommended daily allowance of Chia seeds, which is about 20-25 grams (1 ½ tablespoons of dry seeds) per day.
In addition, if you have not previously consumed seeds, they should be gradually included in the diet. The digestive system can react to a sharp increase in fiber in this amount.
In addition, due to the high content of amino acids, seeds can have an allergenic effect (like any vegetable raw material). Therefore, you should carefully monitor the reaction of the body after inclusion in the daily diet.
Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts
How To Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are mainly used in the kitchen. Thanks to their neutral taste, you can add them to porridge, soups, sauces, pastries or salads.
A very tasty alternative to traditional desserts is the preparation of Chia pudding. Simply pour 1-2 tablespoons of seeds with vegetable milk or yogurt and leave the mixture in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
Due to its ability to swell, Chia seeds can be a component of various types of healthy creams and desserts.
They can also be used for salad dressing by mixing the seeds with unrefined oil. This way they retain most of their useful properties and substances.
Chia can also be used as an ingredient in natural, home-made cosmetics: masks and peels. In this form, it has a normalizing, detoxifying and refreshing effect.