Chia Seeds- A Functional Food

Chia Seeds- A Functional Food

Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica that belong to the mint family.  Native to Central America, the Aztec and Mayan civilizations consumed these highly nutritious seeds in their diets. As little as 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain 138 calories and are rich in protein, fat, alpha-linolenic acid,(ALA) fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B1 & B3 making them a functional food, a food that contains, in addition to nutrients, other components such as vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial to your health.

Rich in soluble fiber, and sticky in nature when wet, chia seeds can assimilate up to 10–12 times their weight in water, turn thick, and swell in the stomach. Soluble Fiber can also feed beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract, which is absolutely essential for maintaining good flora nutrition and intestinal health. Chia seeds have been found to regulate blood sugar levels after eating, control body weight, cholesterol levels and provide satiety.

Chia Seeds contain phytochemicals such as quercetin which have shown to protect the heart and liver.

One of the distinctive features of chia seeds is their high levels of omega‐3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are nutrients you get from food that help build and maintain a healthy body. They’re key to the structure of every cell wall you have. They are one of the most important sources of energy in the diet which keep your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system working the way they should. “At least a 10:1 proportion of ω-6 and ω-3 should be present in the diet to ensure proper structural maintenance and functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems”.

Studies have shown that consuming Omega-3 fatty acids may help in decreasing inflammation, improving brain health, nourish the skin, and benefit the nervous and cardiovascular system

Chia Seeds also contain high amounts of B vitamins including niacin, folic acid, thiamine, and riboflavin, which are necessary for health and growth of the human body, and also accelerate and manage chemical reactions on our bodies.

Abundant in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium, and calcium, the minerals in Chia Seeds
keep us healthy along with helping in the growth of bones, the development of the body and necessary for the generation and transmission of nerve impulses.

Chia Seeds can be used in various forms. Added to coconut cream with cinnamon and water, these simple seeds become a healthy desert. Increase the nutrition value of your food by adding Chia Seeds to a stew or baking. Try the chia-seed recipe in the link below and see how you feel.

Smell, Taste, Enjoy. Be Mindful of the Food You Eat.