Chia (Salvia hispanica) is one of the species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Though tiny, these seeds are packed with digestible plant-based protein, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, soluble and insoluble fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, minerals and antioxidants.
Regular consumption of Chia helps in:
- Lowering cardiovascular diseases risks. Chia Seeds have high omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre content. These properties help to lower blood pressure and raise HDL cholesterol level, thus reducing the risk of having cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetic, weight management and improving digestive health. High dietary fibre content in Chia Seeds provide the feeling of fullness longer as they need much longer time to be digested, hence provide a slow and sustained release of energy to the body without causing a spike in blood sugar level. Chia Seeds are beneficial for the diabetics, athletics (boost endurance) and people on weight management. It also helps to aid and regulate digestive tract health.
- Chia is jam-packed with protein. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood; it is crucial for tissue growth, repair, regulate immune function and synthesis of hormones in the body. This plant-based protein is very beneficial for the vegans and vegetarians as it gives them an extra source for their daily protein requirements.
Based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 4g of Omega-3 fatty acids per day, 25g or 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds per day would be sufficient to meet the recommended intake.
Chia seeds have very mild flavour and can be easily consumed by itself or added to juices, beverages, smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, salads, enzymes, red or green bean soups, sauces or incorporate into any recipes.
Chia has an exceptionally high absorption rate of water; it can absorb up to 9 times its weight in water and form a thick gel once soaked. It is not recommended to consume dry chia seeds as it may cause constipation if you do not drink enough fluid.
Chia Seeds contain high omega-3 fatty acids that helps to lower blood pressure. Not recommended for people who have low blood pressure and on blood thinning medication.
Basic Chia Gel Recipe
450ml of water
31/2 tablespoon of Chia seeds
Or use ratio of 9:1
Mix Chia seeds with water and whisk the mixture briskly with a fork to prevent clumping. Stir the mixture after few minutes of sitting and let it stand for another 5 – 10 minutes. For thicker or thinner gel, adjust water volume accordingly.