Quick Facts on Chia Seeds
- Chia seeds come from the plant Salvia hispanica L., and were at one time a significant food crop in Mexico and Guatemala.
- Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium.
- A 28-gram, or 1-ounce, serving of chia seeds contains 5.6 grams of protein.
- Mixed with water, they can substitute egg in vegan cooking.
- Chia seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, but they should be added to another food or soaked before eating.
- Rich in Polyunsaturated fat, as omega-3 fatty acids, Fiber, Protein, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Zinc.
- Chia seeds come in both black and white varieties, but there is no difference in nutritional value.
Chia Seeds Nutrition
Two tablespoons of chia seeds (1 ounce or 28 grams) contain about:
- Calories: 140
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Carbohydrates: 13.07 grams
- Sugar: Nil
- Unsaturated Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s)
- Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
- They also contain an adequate amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.
Chia seeds are a comprehensive protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body.
Chia Seeds Health Benefits
1. Chia is the Powerhouse of Fiber
Almost all of the carbs in chia seeds are fiber. The high soluble fiber content gives them the ability to absorb 10–12 times their weight in water. Fiber also has various beneficial effects on health. Chia seeds are 40% fiber by weight, making them one of the excellent sources of fiber in the world.
2. Chia Seeds Helps in Weight Loss
Chia seeds are rich in protein and fiber, both of which have been shown to aid weight loss. The soluble fiber in chia absorbs large amounts of water and expands in your stomach, which should increase satiety and slow the absorption of food and the protein in chia seeds help to reduce appetite and food intake. However, studies on chia seeds have provided mixed results.
3. Chia Seeds are Rich in Antioxidants
Chia Seeds are loaded with antioxidants which prevent the delicate fat in the seeds from going bad. Antioxidants also have various health benefits.
4. Chia Seeds have a High Content of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Like flaxseeds, chia seeds are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The omega 3s present in chia seeds are mostly ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) but it is not very beneficial to humans as humans are not good at converting this into DHA, the most important omega-3 fatty acid.
5. Chia Seeds Help to Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3s, fiber, and protein which might reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
6. Chia Seeds are Rich in Quality Protein
Chia seeds have a decent amount of protein. 28 grams of chia seeds have almost 4 grams of protein. They also have a good amount of essential amino acids. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein and protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can remarkably reduce appetite and cravings.
7. Chia Seeds Help in Maintaining Bone Health
Chia seeds contain a good amount of important bone nutrients which includes phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and protein. All of these nutrients are important for maintaining bone health.
8. Chia Seeds Help to Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Chia seeds may reduce the rise in blood sugar after a high-carb meal, possibly helping people with type 2 diabetes.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are really easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be added raw to dishes like yogurt, salads, cereal, yogurt, and even vegetables. The seeds develop a gelatin-like texture when they absorb water, so they are frequently used to create healthy puddings. Chia seeds don’t have much flavor of their own so they pair well with smoothies, bread batter, soups, oatmeal, sauces, muffins and cakes, salads.
Serving Suggestions for chia seeds:
- Sprinkle a few teaspoons of chia seeds into breakfast cereal (hot or cold) salads, soups, or stews.
- Mix into salad dressings, sauces, marinades, or cake/muffin/bread batter.
- Use chia gel as a thickener in smoothies, puddings, and soups.
FT Chia Seeds Recipes
Place chia seeds in a single layer in a sprout maker or any dish. Spray the seeds with water various times and cover with plastic wrap or a glass dish. Put it somewhere in a sunny area. Spray morning and evening until green sprouts appear, it will take about 3-7 days. Use these microgreens to garnish your sandwiches and salads.
To make a pudding, mix ¼ cup of seeds with one cup of liquid such as milk, you can use any sort of milk soy, almond or normal dairy milk or 100% fruit juice. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes refrigerated. You can add nuts or top it with some fresh fruits.
Chia seeds absorb water very quickly. Place ¼ cup seeds in 1 cup of liquid, stir well, and cover. Allow it to sit for about 15-20 minutes until the texture changes to a soft gelatin. Add to smoothies and soups to increase nutrient value and create a thicker, more satisfying consistency. You can store this chia gel in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Chia seeds may be used to replace whole eggs in baking. For 1 whole egg, mix 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds or 1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Allow it to sit for at least 5-6 minutes or until the mixture thickens to the texture of a scrambled egg.
Chia seeds are a versatile source of nutrients, omega-3 fat, antioxidants, and fiber and are also easy to prepare. Research shows they have several health benefits, ranging from weight loss to reduced risk of heart diseases. If you don’t eat this tiny superfood already, you should definitely consider adding them to your diet.