Chia seeds - find out their amazing properties and uses

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Chia seeds - find out their amazing properties and uses

Chia, or strength! It is worth introducing these nutritious seeds into our daily diet. What to mix them with and what are their beneficial effects?

Inconspicuous, small seeds with a neutral taste and interesting texture. More and more often they can be found as an addition to salads, bowls and yoghurt snacks. They are a source of minerals, omega-3 acids and antioxidants. Introducing chia seeds!

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are the most valuable part of the plant with the Latin name salvia hispanica (chia). They look like poppy seeds or black sand. The miniature seeds range in color from dark brown to black. Chia is grown mainly in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador.

The advantage of chia seeds is their neutral taste. Before consumption, the seeds should be left to swell in the liquid with which you will eat them. During a few hours of contact with moisture, chia swells and takes on a gelatinous texture. The seeds absorb the flavor of the dish to which they are added. Chia can also be used as a sprinkle for salads and other dishes. They do not require prior soaking.

Rich in minerals

Chia is rich in minerals, necessary for the proper functioning of the body. The most important include: iron, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, selenium and calcium. Chia seeds have a positive effect on the osteoarticular, nervous and circulatory systems. It can be successfully concluded that they are the best natural dietary supplement

Antioxidant

Chia is a source of antioxidants, which are very important for our body. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting the production of free radicals. Free radicals can damage cellular molecules – this contributes to faster aging and cancer development.

Source of omega-3 fatty acids

Chia seeds are the best plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids known to mankind. It is estimated that as much as 75% of the fats in chia seeds consist of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and 20% consist of omega-6 acids. These acids are very beneficial for the cardiovascular system and heart.

Photo by waichi2021/Pixabay

An aid for bowel function and sugar control

Chia contains large amounts of dietary fiber. It has a positive effect on bowel function. It is important to remember to drink enough fluids and be physically active to avoid constipation. Researchers have observed that chia in animals improves blood sugar control and reduces insulin resistance.

Side effects of chia use

The amount of chia seeds consumed should not be exaggerated. Consuming more than 50 grams per day can cause indigestion, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. When consuming chia, be sure to drink water. This type of fiber requires adequate hydration for efficient bowel function. Men should also take special care. The high ALA fatty acid content of the seeds may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men to a small degree. In addition, just like any food, chia can cause allergies.

How to eat chia seeds?

Chia can be eaten “raw”, ground and in soaked form. You can successfully sprinkle the seeds on salads and sandwiches. Chia is also great as an addition to yogurts, smoothies or oatmeal. Chia can also be added to homemade bread. The most important thing is not to exceed the daily recommended intake.

Chia dessert – an idea for an after-dinner snack using chia seeds can be something like a pudding. To make it you need 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, 250 ml of animal or vegetable milk and fruit of your choice: blueberries, mango or banana. Making it is trivial: pour the liquid over the seeds and stir for a while. Then set aside in a cool place for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight. After that time just take out the pudding and decorate it with your favorite fruit. In a similar way you can prepare a breakfast chia bowl. Nutritious mass should be enriched with nuts.

Main photo: ValeriaLu/Pixabay

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