When I went on my first RAW FOOD degustation I drank an energizing drink with chia seeds inside. I never tried these seeds before!
The drink was delicious: water + chia seeds + lime juice + honey.
So I decided to find out more about this mystery ingredient and now I’ve been adding it to almost all my meal!
Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) originally come from Mexico and Central America and recently has been discovered by beauty and healthy food industry. But this plant was well known and used ages ago by Indians from current part of West-South Mexico or by Aztecs. Now more and more people add this product to their daily diet.
Why? The answer is following:
1. Protein – complete protein with all 8 essentials amino acids
2. Plenty of antioxidants – four times higher ORAC value than blueberries
3. Vitamins – 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
> 5 times more calcium than milk and this calcium is easy absorbed by your body
> twice the potassium content of banana
> 3 times more iron than spinach
5. Omega-3 fatty acids (20% omega 3 ALA):
> chia seeds have 8 times more Omega 3 than salmon!
> 3 times more than cereals
> 1.5 times more than legumes but less than flax seeds
6. Linolenic acid – which can be converted into Omega 6 if it’s needed
7. And fiber
Sounds great, isn’t it? 😉
Additionally this is a great eggs replacement (the same as flax seeds). You just need to mix seeds with water which will give you a gel to be used to all recipes calling for eggs. If all of these weren’t enough they are also gluten free so ideal for all people being on gluten-free diet.
This gel is great not only because of its properties used while cooking, but it has deeper meaning to our bodies. Thanks to chia seeds’ property of changing into gel when adding water, similar reaction of jelly has place in our stomach. This means that gel causes a physical protective barrier between carbohydrates and carbohydrate-digesting enzymes, thereby slows the conversion of polysaccharides to monosaccharides. This is very meaningful for diabetes as slow transformation of sugars polysaccharides offers improved efficiency of system. Natural sugars (not to be confused with a refined sugar crystal sugar, white flour) are the best fuel for our body energy. Extending the conversion of polysaccharides into simple sugars stabilizes metabolic changes, fades formation of highs and lows (in the concentration of sugars in the blood) which means there is a much longer period of stable, steady supply of metabolic fuel.
Additionally one of the remarkable features of chia seeds are hydrophilic properties – the seeds are able to absorb water in a proportion of more than 12 to 1 (by weight). The water retention properties of colloidal water prolong the hydration of the body. Fluids and electrolytes create then an environment which supports the life processes of each cell. The concentration of the electrolyte, the composition is regulated to maintain stability as possible environmental conditions (homeostasis). Our system keeps more efficient control of absorbing nutrients, and maintaining adequate levels of body fluids. This efficiency allows for better disposed of the body fluids and maintain ion balance in the body.
Seeds are tiny and tasteless so you can add them to any food you would like to. They are great with salads, fruits, cereals, fruits and vegetables cocktails . (check these recipes!) ,soups or even baking stuffs like cakes or breads as they don’t lose their properties in a hot temperature. They could be added raw or as a gel (seeds + water) – depending of a meal. I put some recipes in my section called ‘Quick Recipes’ .
Regarding to nutritionists you should eat one tablespoon daily to provide to your body all essentials vitamins and microelements. As you can add them to almost all kind of meals is really easy to meet this requirement 😉
Photos from Google Image