Chia, also known as Salvia Hispanica, is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae mint family. It naturally grows in southern parts of Mexico and in Guatemala.
It is good to know that the name originates from the ancient Mayan word that means strength. This amazing plant was used to improve energy since ancient times. Mayan messengers were especially fond of it. Because of the popularity among these ancient time couriers, the Europeans who came in these areas centuries ago called Chia – the Indian Running Food.
Chia seeds come with a nice and mild taste and the best part is that you can use them in many different meals because it doesn’t affect the taste. People today use it in butter breads, smoothies, dressings etc.
The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds come with:
- Three times more iron than spinach,
- 300% more antioxidant power than the power of blueberries,
- 200% more potassium than the amount found in bananas,
- Two times more protein compared to any other grain or seed,
- Five times more calcium than milk and five times more boron – a rare mineral that helps the bones absorb calcium in a better way,
- Great quantity of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
It is worth mentioning that chia seeds are packed with soluble fibre, essential amino acids and proteins.
These seeds are known to be very hydrophilic, which means that they have the ability to absorb water and create special mucilaginous gel. Chia seeds can absorb more than 10 times their weight in water in less than ten minutes.
Source of Antioxidants
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants. In addition, you can store them dry for five days and they won’t lose any of their properties. If you want to replace flaxseed, opt for chia seeds.
Support Weight Loss
Chia seeds have the ability to replace fat and calories when they are used in other food, but they don’t change the taste of any meal. In other words, you can eat the meals that you want and take only 50% of the calories that you have taken before.
The list of health benefits of chia seeds is much longer because these seeds can also:
- Manage blood sugar,
- Stabilize digestion,
- Boost energy,
- Improve endurance,
- Increase strength,
- Aid the weight loss process.
So, chia seeds can be quite useful for people dealing with:
- Type 2 diabetes,
- High cholesterol levels,
- Acid reflux,
- Thyroid problems,
- Celiac disease.
Easily Digestible Seeds
When chia seeds are soaked in plain water, the body can easily process these seeds.
Water Absorption and Retention
These seeds can increase the length of hydration and keep the electrolytes especially in times of excretion.
As we have mentioned before, chia comes with a very mild taste and that’s why it can be used in many different recipes. You can use Chia in smoothies, dressings, sauces, juices, cookies, ice creams etc.
Pour one tablespoon of these seeds in a small amount of water and the seeds will remove the extra acid. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes and after that drink one cup of water. Chia seeds are highly hydrophilic and in case they need water they’ll take it from our tissues.
Detoxify the Intestines
Chia seeds have the ability to eliminate waste deposits that accumulate in the intestines and support proper bowel movement.
Absorption of Sugar
The gel from chia seeds can create a wall between carbs and digestive enzymes that can dissolve these carbs. This means that chia seeds slow down the process of turning carbohydrates into sugar.
Chia seeds are full of nutrients and this is why they have the ability to support fast tissue renewal. They are ideal for those who are healing from injuries and for women during breastfeeding period.
One pound of chia seeds can be found for eight dollars. In addition, two ounces of dry chia seeds which can be used to create 17 ounces of chia gel are less than a dollar.
How to Use Chia Seeds?
First of all, you must soak the chia seeds in tap water and after a while they will soak up a large quantity of water.
If you want to make chia gel, you will need two ounces of chia seeds and add them in two cups of water. After that, put this mixture in a clean glass jar, seal it well and store in the refrigerator. This procedure will secure you 17 ounces of chia gel. It takes less than ten minutes to prepare the gel, so feel free to use it right away.
However, the benefits that come from the compounds in it can be felt after a few hours, so don’t do this in a hurry. The chia gel should be used in less than three weeks.
Chia Seeds and Whole Seeds
Take chia seeds and whole seeds and mix them well. Feel free to grind these seeds with the help of a coffee grinder and use them in smoothies and soups. In addition, you can also sprinkle this healthy mixture on top of salads and meals.
Use it in Drinks
Besides water, chia seeds have the ability to absorb any other type of liquid. This means that you can use them in juices. Simply, mix the seeds with fresh fruits in a juicer or blender and make a healthy beverage. However, you should wait for 10-15 minutes before consumption.
The 6 Best Chia Recipes
Ordinary Chia Gel Recipe
- Chia seeds,
Add two ounces of chia seeds in two cups of tap water and mix everything well. Put the mixture in a fridge and use it whenever you want.
- Five tablespoons of chia seeds,
- Rice pudding,
- Organic honey or agave syrup,
- Two cups of organic almond milk.
Soak the seeds for about ten minutes before you use them. After that, take all the ingredients and mix them well. In addition, you can use vanilla, cinnamon or cardamom in order to make the taste sweeter.
- Eight tablespoons of ground chia,
- Banana Nut bread,
- A quarter a cup of walnuts (chopped),
- Five bananas,
- Two cups of veggie juice pulp,
- Half a cup of raisins.
Take the vegetable juice pulp and bananas and mix them well in a blender/food processor. After that, add the chia and mix everything until you get an even mixture. Next, add the walnuts and raisins and mix everything in a large bowl. Create a loaf and pour this mixture on loaf’s top: lemon juice (from two lemons), nine dates, a handful of dulse seaweed, cream cheese and three avocados.
- Two teaspoons of chia seeds,
- Lemon juice (made from one lemon),
- Ten ounces of water,
- One banana,
- Bana – paya Chia,
- Six dried figs,
- One Cup of papaya (flesh),
- Five tablespoons of ground chia.
Take the papaya and banana and mix them. After that, add the dried figs. Let the mixture stand still and soak the juices and water overnight. Add the ground chia seeds the next day and stir everything well.
- Eight dates (remove the pits),
- Two big apples,
- Five tablespoons of chia seeds,
- Chia gel muesli,
- A quarter a cup of dried mulberries,
- A quarter a cup of pumpkin seeds,
- One cup of regular chia gel,
- A quarter a cup of raisins,
- Two mashed bananas,
- One tablespoon of lucuma powder.
Take a fork and mix all the ingredients well. Enjoy!
Recipe # 5
- One tablespoon of powdered spirulina,
- 1/3 cup of chia seeds,
- Eight dried prunes (soaked in one pint of tap water).
Filter the water where the prunes were soaked and put the chia seeds in the water. Mix the prunes, powdered spirulina and a small quantity of the water. Mix them well and let the chia absorb the water for about ten minutes. After that, consume the solution.
Persi nana Chia Smoothie
- Handful of pumpkin seeds,
- Five tablespoons of chia seeds,
- Two bananas,
- Handful of goji berries,
- Two persimmons,
- One teaspoons of maca,
- One teaspoon of cinnamon.
Take on e large bowl and put the bananas and persimmons in it. Mix these ingredients well and after that add the cinnamon, maca, goji berries, chia and pumpkin seeds. Let the chia seeds absorb liquids for ten minutes before consumption.