Black Chia Seeds health benefits : Ultimate Superfood
What is chia seed?
Black chia seed is a tiny oily seed that come from a family of mint plants. This plant has two main variations, meaning that exist two kinds of chia seed. The first and most used is Salvia hispanica (Chia)and the second Salvia columbariae.
They have been re-discovered recently, and are used for many nutritional benefits. The plant itself is native to the southern region of Mexico and some regions of northern Guatemala.
The raw black chia seed contains a lot of nutritional values. Many health benefits come from consuming chia seed. The ancient Mayans used black chia as a dietary staple. These wonderful seeds provided the main source of energy and proteins for the whole day. They are gluten-free, have massive amounts of fatty acids such as omega - 3,prevent many cardiovascular diseases, fight food craving and are a great source of energy.
They are loaded with vitamin, fibers, minerals, antioxidants and proteins. Chia seed can be used in virtually any dish. They can be blended into smoothies to make chia drink, used in cereals, yogurt, soups different salads or even baked into breads.
Black Chia seeds health benefits : Ultimate SuperfoodClick thumbnail to view full-size
Black chia seed is rich in Omega-3
Chia seeds are a crop - based, stable alternative source of fatty acids or omega-3 or commonly referred to as "good fat" (ALA). Omega - 3 is a unsaturated type of acid which can be generally found in certain fish. Omega-3 is a crucial element for the normal functionality of the body.
The omega-3 found in nuts or seeds like black chia seed is a plant based acid that has typically the same effects as the ones in the fish. Chia seeds contain approximately 20% of omega-3 per seed. More than any other vegetable plant, nut, or seed.
Some of the benefits that come from omega-3 are, the reducing the high levels of blood fat (tryglyceride). A diet high in omega-3 acid also fights inflammation which is one of the causes of asthma. Many researchers have suggested that omega-3 can help protect against Alzheimer's disease and gradual memory loss.
Also, it helps to low down cholesterol level in the blood. But, I wouldn't suggest it as a total substitution of the fish omega-3. You see, the human body is able only to fully process the omega-3 found in the oils of the fish or the fish meat itself. and cannot fully process the omega-3 in the chia seeds.
Packed with antioxidants
There have not been conclusive studies but, from consumer reviews claim that Chia is packed with antioxidants, which help fight the free radicals. Free radicals are the main reason of aging. The process of aging comes from the very core of each cell of the human body. This is caused by the "oxidation" process inside the cells.
Every time we eat and ingest the food our cells go through a natural oxidation process. They absorb all the oxygen and the elementary components to create energy. But, the creation of energy comes with a "price", the free radicals. Free radicals, after many other biological and chemical processes attack the cells and make them shrink and then die.
Now you have notice the great benefit of the antioxidant component in the chia seeds. True, these seeds will not make you live forever. But, they surely might slow down the aging process if eaten in acceptable amounts and regularly. It has also been claimed that chia seeds have more antioxidant's than blueberries.
Better athletic performance
This seeds can be a perfect replacement for energy drinks. If you are a sportsman/woman incorporate in drinks like tea or water chia seeds for better hydration and strength. It will help you out in building muscle mass. It might be better to give up the unhealthy way of using artificial energy drinks.
It is one of the most important nutrient's for calorie per calorie. Meaning that in one ounce has massive amount of energy and very few calories. High in protein seeds boost your immune system and help out in building a good stamina. More than 14% of the seed is proteins. There are not conclusive studies but, a high amount of protein intake reduces appetite.
Great benefits for diabetics
Chia seeds daily usage may improve your blood quality and help regulate blood sugar levels. Which may particularly prevent the risk of heart diseases and the type 2 diabetes. Some of the most extreme conditions in diabetics involve the feeling sickness, tiredness all the time and having high blood pressure. The issue with diabetes is the amount of sugar that is transmitted into the bloodstream. When you ingest chia a layer or a type of barrier is created which slows down the process of turning carbohydrates into sugars like glucose.
This is very helpful for the diabetics that do not have the proper mechanism to slow down the speed of glucose transmission into the blood. Chia is a very healthy addition to a diabetics diet. Even if you are in the pre-diabetic stage you will rip all the benefits of chia.
The greatest thing is that you can eat these seeds in whatever form you want. If you add plain water to them, chia turns into some kind of gel (chia gel). The so called chia gel, is obtained from the absorbing of the external liquids like water by the seeds. You put the desired amount of seeds in a bowl and add 300 ml of water. Leave it in room temperature overnight until all the water is absorbed. In the morning it won't remain a single drop of water but the seeds will become 5 times more of their original size.
What do you think.
Will you consume more Chia seeds ?
Chia seed for weight loss.
Recent studies have shown that chia seeds can help with weight loss. If you use this seed daily there is no risk of gaining weight. This particular seed has the property of absorbing fluids. It can easily absorb up to 12 times of its weight.
When you begin consuming chia seeds it is important to know about it's appearance when it comes in contact with water. It takes the form of a nasty, weird jelly. It can be unpleasant to eat for some people. I don't mind at all eating them like that.
Knowing that it helps so much with weight loss. Sometimes I recommend chia seeds just for the sake of this attribute. Chia seeds deliver to the brain receptors from the stomach the sense of fullness.
More than 70% of the time you consume chia, you are going to eat less food. In fact you will eat around half of the food you ate before.
Eat Chia to fight food cravings
Sudden food cravings are the worst enemy of our health. Sometimes you might start with a very light snack and end up eating a full meal. Often it is very difficult to get through the day, especially if you want to stay fit. But, not eating enough can bring serious damage to the heart, nervous system, immune system etc.
In order to fight food craving without losing energy for the body use chia before any meal. They will work perfectly as a protein and carbohydrate source. Also, these seeds tend to make you feel fuller in a short period of time. Normally, it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to understand that you have eaten enough. But if you ingest chia seeds 30 minutes before eating you will feel fuller even faster then 20 minutes.
When you eat chia seeds or chia gel (chia that has absorbed water) each seed develops an un - soluble type of skin around them. This un - soluble chia skin is very difficult to be fully digested. So, your stomach has to work even harder, thus it transmits to the brain the sense of fullness.
Salvia hispanica and size of the chia seeds.Click thumbnail to view full-size
The chia seed side effects
Chia seeds do not have any known side effect. Unless you have any medical prescription or allergy from seeds that prevents you from eating chia. There have many conflicting studies that might relate the fatty acids of chia with prostate cancer.
But, after doing a future research (with ALA acids) disclaimed these studies and found no relation whatsoever of chia seeds with prostate cancer. These fatty acids not only did not increase the possibility of prostate cancer but they decreased it dramatically.
There are also some claims of irregular stomach disorders after eating chia seeds. That is absolutely true. Being a stable food that has over 37% of dietary fiber it can bring discomfort if used in high amounts. But, almost any kind of food can be dangerous if you consume it without any criteria. Try incorporate these seeds to other dishes or use plenty of water when you eat chia.
“In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoon of chia is like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone. As tiny as those seeds are, they’re superpacked with Omega-3s, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fiber and antioxidants.”— Van Zandt
Chia seeds nutrition facts.
As I mentioned before Chia seeds provide a large amount of nutrients for a very small doze.
Chia nutrition facts are listed above for a daily usage of one ounce (28 grams).
- One ounce of this seed contains a massive amount of energy, around : 138.9 kcal
- Dietary fiber : 12g
- Fat : 8.8g
- Protein : 4.75g
- The seed itself is packed with plenty of vitamins, containing : Vitamin A, Thiamine (B1) - 0.62mg, Riboflavin (B2) - 0.17mg, Niacin (B3) - 8.83mg, Folate (B9), Vitamin C - 1.6mg, Vitamin E - 0.5mg
How to eat the chia seed?
Nowadays, chia seed can be easily found in many groceries. They are often sold in small pack's of 100g or more. But, I think that the main problem is, to find out the proper way to eat these seeds.
Some folk's like to eat them raw. This is a warning from my experience. Don't eat them raw, because they will stick between your teeth. It will become very unpleasant because they are hard to chew. If you have strong teeth, you can try eating them raw.
This is a very small seed (around 1mm) without any particular taste. Instead try to integrate them in various food recipes. Personally I consume these seeds with yogurt or sometime I sprinkle them in the cereals with milk. Basically you can put chia seeds in any dish. They taste of nothing, so it is easier to adapt them in many recipes.
Black chia is an oily seed, and it has wonderful conservation characteristics. If you wan't you can save them in room temperature as they come from the store. Or you can grind them and conserve as powder ready for the dishes.
Energetic values of chia seeds when used with food.
Mass of food
Mass of Chia seeds
Bakery 30 ounces
Yougurt 15 ounces
Tea of any kind 1 liter
Chia Seed Muffins
It can be used in cooking and baking.
If you love homemade bread product's then, it is totally fine to use this seed. Actually the powder form of chia can be used and put in the bread.
All you have to do is grind around 2 to 3 ounces of chia for each 30 ounces of bread. Or, if you are making pie just put a small amount of chia powder when making the crust of the pie.
Chia seeds in tea and waterClick thumbnail to view full-size
Chia tea for hot summer days.
Another wide spread usage of this seed is making chia tea. The whole seed is perfect when it is combined with water, tea or other drink like smoothies.
First set the water of the tea to the fire till it boils. Then in a conservation jar put the water along with a packet of tea. I like using wild fruit flavors like blackberries, but you can use any kind you want.
Then put in one tablespoon of whole black chia seed and sir it gently. Fill the rest of the jar with ice to make it cold enough to drink. If you want you can add some fresh chopped fruits or wild fruits.