With their origins in Central America, chia seeds were the main food source in the Mayan and Aztec diets. Starting from the pre-Columbian times, they were considered to be the ultimate food with medical properties. Studies show that these seeds have a very impressive nutritional value. They are the best sources of Omega-3 (100 g of seeds contain 18 g Omega-3).
When talking about antioxidants, these seeds actually surpass other fruits such as grapes, cranberries, pineapples, noni fruit or mango. They contain flavonoids (such as quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol), phenolic acids (caffeic acid), vitamin C and E.
Chia seeds impress even through their great mineral diversity. Two spoons of Chia seeds give us 13% of our daily recommended dose of calcium and 18% of our daily dose of magnesium, a combo which is necessary for powerful bones and a healthy nervous system.
In addition, they have a reduced amount of sodium (1%), compared to the potassium which is 20%.
100 g of Chia seeds contain:
- 2 mg of manganese (110% of the daily recommended dose)
- 360 mg of magnesium (90% of the DRD)
- 766 mg phosphorus (77% of the DRD)
- 37 mg copper (69% of the DRD)
- 669 mg calcium (67% of the DRD)
- 8 mg iron (45% of the DRD)
- 5 mg zinc (23% of the DRD)
- 712 mg potassium (20% of the DRD)
The B vitamins from the Chia seeds are actually recommended for healthy hair and the nervous system. Chia seeds are rich in fiber, and when you combine them with Omega-3 EFAs (essential fatty acids), especially alpha-linolenic acid, they bring benefits to the cardiovascular system (relieves blood pressure, lowers the risk of a heart attack, stroke or a coronary heart disease).
How to Consume Chia Seeds
Chia seeds absorb most of the liquid in which they are left to soak, turning them into a gel. Let them sit for about 15 minutes in water or another liquid and you’ll see the wonder. Because of their properties, Chia seeds can be used as thickeners for soups and stews (added at the end), juices, smoothies, pudding or fruit jam.
Some people prefer to roast the seeds instead of soaking them, and they add them into salads. Be careful though, if you eat them dry, and not soaked, you should drink high amounts of water during the day to prevent bloating or constipation, which are usual side effects.
You can also add Chia seeds to your yogurt, in your cereal bowl or in your omelet composition. They can also be used as an alternative to eggs when it comes to making dough (you use one spoon soaked into three spoons of water to replace a large egg in a composition).
Ground Chia seeds can even be used to replace flour when making bread dough, as well as other similar products. You can also use Chia seeds as the main ingredient for puddings or other snacks which you can eat throughout the day, knowing that it’s something absolutely healthy.