Chia Seeds – Modern Superfood

Chia seeds, modern superfood, can be black or white (brown indicates that the seed is unripe). There is no difference nutritionally. White or black, this little seed has a lot to be proud of. The Aztecs (Central Mexico) boast the first record of chia as early as 3500B.C. It was one of the main foods in the Aztec diet.

Aside from being eaten whole, the chia seed was anciently used for many things. It was used in medicine, ground into flour, mixed as an ingredient in drinks, and pressed for oil. It was useful in that it could be stored for relatively long periods of time (perfect for traveling). In addition to these practical uses, the chia seed ran deeper in the blood of the Aztecs. It was sacred and used as a sacrifice in religious ceremonies.

The ancient civilizations believed that the chia seed provided supernatural powers. In Mayan, “chia” means “strength.” This probably has to do with the large amounts of energy provided by chia seeds. Ancient warriors attributed their stamina to this tiny seed. This still holds true for certain groups of people today. The Mexican Tarahumara tribe is famous for their runners. These runners drink a mixture of chia seeds, lemon, and water called Iskiate. After drinking this, they are said to be able to run hundreds of miles.

The reason chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals such:

  • Dietary fiber (11g – 42% recommended daily value)
  • Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (4915 mg)
  • Omega-6 fatty acids (1620 mg)
  • Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
  • Copper (0.1 mg – 3% RDV)
  • Phosphorus (265 mg – 27% RDV)
  • Potassium (44.8 mg – 1% RDV)
  • Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV)

Chia also contains essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including sulphur, iron, iodine,  magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, and they are a rich source of anti-oxidants. Chia seeds are popular superfood nowadays.  Most chia seeds are imported from Paraguaya.

Chia seed benefits;

  • Energy boost
  • Skin & Aging
  • Digestive Health
  • Heart Health
  • Help Treat Diabetes
  • Boost Your Energy & Metabolism
  • Stronger Bones
  • Build Muscle & Lose Weight
  • Fight Breast and Cervical Cancer
  • Dental Health

How to eat chia seeds?

I suggest to soak them first, it´s better for digestion than take them as raw. Normally 30 min soaking time is enough, you can let them soak also overnight in glass jar. There are many ways to use chia seeds like in breakfast bowl, smoothies, bread, puree or jam, and dessert. When eating chia seeds for breakfast  they give the energy boost for the day. You don´t need any snack before the lunch. Suggested to use 2 tablespoon a day.

chia seeds in breakfast bowl
My favorite breakfast bowl with chia seeds (soaked in coconut water) , coconut yogurt, acai powder, banana, blueberries and coconut flakes.

I always use organic chia seeds, and buy 1 kg package since I use them every day. This is the food I can´t live without.

What is your favorite chia seed recipe?

Love & health!

-Sari

 

Source: ancientgrains.com,  draxe.com

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