What Are Chia Seeds?
Scientifically known as Salvia hispanica, chia seeds are considered to be one of the few superfoods nature has bestowed upon us. Originating in Mexico, and dating back to the Mayan and Aztec cultures, these seeds are known for their richness in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and calcium. They also act as a natural laxative.
It is believed that Aztec warriors consumed chia seeds for endurance. According to popular legend, one spoonful of chia seeds could sustain them for 24 hours.
In the Mayan language, ‘chia’ means strength. The seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that are absorbed by the body as seeds (1). Though originally used as equine feed, the benefits are found to extend to humans as well (2).
Chia seeds are often confused with basil seeds (we will look at the differences later), and there is speculation as to which type is called sabja. So, what is the taste of chia seeds? Well, chia seeds usually taste like alfalfa sprouts.
In the recent times, research has found the benefits of chia seeds to be far greater than what anyone knew – which is precisely what we will see as we go ahead. And by the way, chia seeds can be good for your pets too. It is also easier to store. It doesn’t have any specific taste or smell for your pet to turn its nose up at. The dosage would be ¼ of chia seeds for every 4.5 kilos of your pet’s body weight.This was about what are chia seeds good for, now you will learn are chia seeds healthy.
They have been shown to support a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Fight Breast Cancer And Other Forms Of Cancer
As per a report published by the UCSF Medical Center, chia seeds are a good source of alpha-linoleic acid, which can help prevent breast cancer (14). The same goes for omega-3 fatty acids.
How To Eat Chia Seeds
1. Soaked Form
You can soak chia seeds in water overnight as this maximizes the benefits. Soaked chia seeds turn into chia gel, which can be added to your smoothies or protein shakes as a base. This creates a gluey effect and aids digestion. Soaked chia seeds are also easily absorbed by your body.
If you are in a hurry, you can simply swish the seeds and water in a jar (with the lid closed, obviously) for about 5 minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, and you will see a gel-like consistency.
The Whole Seeds
The simplest way is to mix chia seeds in yogurt and have it for breakfast. You can also add the seeds to a smoothie.
You can sprinkle the seeds on other foods to keep them crunchy.
You can also add chia seeds to soups or sauces to thicken them. And oatmeal as well – they thicken a bowl of oatmeal and also add additional fiber.
Those are a few ways on how to consume chia seeds. And yes, how about a couple of recipes with chia seeds? These help you enjoy the benefits of chia seeds the best way possible.
Chia Seed Recipes
1. White Chia Seed Pudding
- 1/3 cup of white chia seeds
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract