Continuing in our super foods category, we talk about Chia Seeds in this post. Although recently turned very popular, they are native to Central America and have been known/consumed for their health benefits for thousands of years. Picture below shows the plant.
As little as 2 spoons of Chia will provide one with utmost nutrition in terms of fiber, proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, and rich dose of Anti-oxidants.
1. Since Chia seeds are loaded with Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids and retain nearly 27 times water of their size. While Omega 3 fatty acids help cut the body fats, their water retaining ability of allows one to stay satiated till long time.
2. High fiber (soluble and insoluble) content keeps the digestive system on track and hence help keep gastro intestinal disorders at the bay.
3. They help maintain the blood sugar level as they significantly slow down decomposition of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. This helps to regulate blood sugar spike.
4. Omega 3 fatty acids also provide anti-inflammatory properties and that to maintain the blood pressure levels in the body.
That being said, Chia seeds should be consumed in moderation on a daily basis to gain maximum benefit out of their properties and nutrient richness.
Consumption and recipe suggestions
They form a gluey and running paste when mixed with water/liquid of your choice. When this mix is added with the choice of fruits/foods, it can serve to form smoothies, pudding, or can even be cooked further to lead to different super recipes.
They can also be consumed raw (sprinkled as a powder or as full seeds) in routine food. This would add a slightly nutty flavor to the food and load one with the goodness of Chia.
Chia seeds form an excellent substitute to eggs and/or butter if you would like to go for vegan or egg free baking/cooking. For example, few spoon fulls of chia seeds can be added to pan cake mix to replace eggs.