Chia Seeds: What, How and Why
Harvested from the Salvia Hispanica native to parts of mexico CHIA SEEDS are a nutritional power house containing plethora of vitamin and nutrients. The modern day super food is highly valued in the fitness world due to its medicinal and nutritional properties. The tiny black and white seeds are an edible and unprocessed whole grain food that can be easily absorbed by the human body. One ounce (28 grams) of chia contains approximately 135 calories with majority of the calories coming in from good Fat, Fiber and Protein. These tiny seeds have the capacity to withhold 10 times their dry weight in liquid. The mid flavor of the seeds makes them easy to add to food and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on foods, sauces, vegetables, rice, dishes or yogurt; for its water absorbing properties chia is also used as a thickening agency and a substitute for eggs in baked goods.
An ounce of Chia (i.e.: 28 grams) contains the following nutrition profile.
- Fiber:11 grams
- Protein:4 grams.
- Fat:9 grams .
- Calcium:18% of the RDA.
- Manganese:30% of the RDA.
- Magnesium:30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus:27% of the RDA.
- Small amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
Chia Seeds Benefits: –
One serving about 28 grams of chia Chia seeds contains 11 grams of dietary fiber which is approximately 40-45% of your daily recommended intake. The high fiber content helps for a healthy and regular bowel movement and stool profile. The seeds absorb about 10 times their own weight in water, so when eaten chia seeds will absorb water and immediately expand in stomach making you feel full
Weight Loss and Muscle building
Protein is the go to word when you are in process of muscle building and chia contains about 6-7 grams in evert ounce you consume. The high value nutritional properties makes a great addition to the post-workout snack as it helps replenish the lost nutrients and electrolytes while working out.
While marketers have gone on a surge recommending it for weight loss however limited researches have proven it to be helpful in weight loss. In theory, the key to appetite suppression with chia is due to the water absorption and expansion properties. The water absorption properties prolong hydration and slows digestion helping one feel full for longer periods, thus suppressing appetite.
Omega 3 Fatty acids
Rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids makes chia seeds a great food for heart health. Lipid profile of chia consists of 60% Omega 3 Fatty acids making it one of the largest plant based source of fatty acids. High in alpha-linolenic acid or ALA a fatty acid that helps absorb water soluble fat soluble vitamins like A,D,K. Rich fatty acid mix in chia helps fight inflammation, lower blood pressure and regulate cholesterol.
If you would look at the nutrition profile of chia it contains 12 grams of carbs out of which 11 grams is fiber so the real carb content is 1 grams in an ounce. The water absorption characteristic of chia makes it expand in human body which makes you feel full and slow down digestion of food in body.
High in vital Bone Nutrients
Nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium are important for bone health. The calcium contents in chia are particularly impressive, weight by weight the calcium contents in chia is larger than most dairy products.
How to consume chia seeds
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or soaked depending on choice and the dish you are adding it to. However, Soaking chia will make it more bio-available to your body helping prevent blood sugar spikes and staying hydrated for long. Soaked chia/ chia gel are easier to digest and nutrients are better absorbed in the body.
While choosing chia in the local market make sure to choose black or white chia and not brown colored seeds. Brown seeds imply immature seeds that haven’t matured properly, thus not carrying the complete nutritional profile.
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Disclaimer: Material contained on this website is for informational purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice