Benefits and Uses of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a superfood and a leader in the content of nutrients per gram of product. They contain soluble fiber (about 30% of the mass of grains), a large amount of omega-3 vegetable fats – as well as magnesium and other minerals important for metabolism.
Studies show that chia seeds reduce the amount of microinflammation in the body and have a positive effect on the normalization of blood cholesterol levels. Below in the material you will find information about their calorie content, the composition of the fats, proteins, and carbs, as well as reviews on the use of chia seeds.


Chia seeds - what is it?

Chia seeds are the seeds of the chia plant (salvia hispanica or “Spanish sage”), an annual flower that grows up to 2m high. Homeland – Central America. Before Spanish colonization, chia seeds, along with spirulina and corn, were a staple in the Aztec diet.
For a long time, the benefits of chia were forgotten, as the plant was considered extinct. However, in the 1980s, it was discovered in the remote mountains of Paraguay. Today, chia seeds are popular not only in South America, but also in Europe.
The health benefits of chia are backed by both scientific research and reviews. They are rich in calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus. In addition, chia grains contain vegetable omega-3 fats and a unique type of soluble fiber that improves stomach function.

How to use?

Chia seeds are most beneficial in the form of flour – since the seeds are covered with a hard shell, they are only partially digested in their normal form. The easiest way to use chia is in the preparation of vegetable and fruit smoothies, beating them with a blender.
In addition, chia seeds are a very useful ingredient in homemade whole grain breads. Due to the high content of soluble fiber, the milled grains add volume and unique taste to the bread, reducing the glycemic index.
Chia seeds also have beneficial properties in the form of an oil – it is distinguished by a high content of vegetable Omega-3 acids, as well as natural substances that prevent the oxidation of these acids. Chia oil is used in cosmetics to help fight acne.

Chia seeds - benefits and harms

Studies show that chia seeds used daily can help reduce microinflammation in the body. This lowers blood pressure and helps maintain normal cholesterol levels. We also note other useful properties of chia:
1. Contains many minerals
Chia seeds are an excellent source of magnesium and calcium, important for metabolism. 100 g of chia contains 94% of the daily value of magnesium, 63% of the value of calcium and 59% of the value of iron. Recall that magnesium restores the nervous system, and iron is good for the circulatory system – which is especially important for women.

2. Reduce cholesterol levels
Due to its rare type of soluble fiber, chia seeds can influence blood cholesterol levels by lowering the amount of “bad” cholesterol. The fact that they contain powerful antioxidants plays a role in increasing the level of absorption of omega-3.
3. Contains Omega-3
Chia seeds are one of the leaders in plant Omega-3 content. They are useful in combating microinflammation and accelerate the rate of muscle recovery in male athletes, as well as help maintain optimal immune function.

4. A source of essential amino acids
The protein profile of chia seeds is complete – they contain essential metabolic amino acids lysine, methionine and others.

5.Contains antioxidants
Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid in the seeds are powerful natural antioxidants. Chia also contains the phytonutrients myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol – they are useful for immune functions and increase the body’s ability to fight against damaging factors of various nature.
6. Good for gut health
Chia seeds have probiotic properties – that is, they improve the condition of the intestinal microflora, acting as food for beneficial bacteria.
7. Reduce hunger
Because chia seeds are high in fiber, they quickly relieve hunger and provide long-term satiety. You can keep a bag of chia seeds in your purse and wash them down with a glass of water as needed per ancient Aztec technique.

8. Easy to grow at home
Chia seeds can be germinated at home – and faster than soybeans. Sprouted grains are consumed as a source of chlorophyll. In turn, the chia plant, akin to sage and mint, blooms beautifully and does not require special care – when planted in open ground, it bears fruit in a year.

Germinating chia seeds at home is easy enough. First, the grains are washed, then spread in a thin layer at the bottom of the container and water is added daily.
Plant sprouts appear 2-3 days after placing the seeds in water. Note that germination requires organic chia seeds that have not been exposed to heat and preservatives. Chia sprouts are eaten when they reach a height of 4-5 cm.

chia seeds

Calorie content and composition

Chia seeds have a fairly high calorie content – about 490 kcal per 100 g. However, despite the significant figure, in fact, only 10 g should be consumed per day. Below you will find detailed information on the full composition of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals.

Chia seeds composition:
Content per 100 g
Caloric content – 486 kcal 
Carbohydrates – 42 g 
– of which fiber –  34 g 
Fat – 30.7 g
– of which vegetable omega-3 – 17 g 
Proteins – 16 g 

Content of minerals and vitamins:

Content per 100 g 

Calcium – 63% 
Iron – 59%
Magnesium – 94% 
Manganese – 130% 
Phosphorus – 123% 
Zinc – 48% 

Vitamin A – 7% 
Vitamin B1 – 54%
Vitamin B2 – 14%
Vitamin B3 – 59% 
Vitamin C – 2% 
Vitamin E – 3%  

nutrition quotes
"There is nothing unhealthy about educating youngsters about nutrition."
Pierre Dukan

Chia seed oil

chia seeds oil

Chia seed oil is a product obtained by mechanical pressing of the seeds of the same name. Since vegetable fat accounts for about a third of the mass of chia grains, the process of extracting oil does not require chemical preparations; therefore, it is always virgin.
Recall that chia seeds are the leader in the content of beneficial nutrients per gram of product. They are rich in calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, plus they contain a rare type of soluble fiber. The health benefits of chia have been backed up by many studies.
In turn, chia oil contains significant amounts of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that prevent oxidation. You can buy this oil both in the form of a liquid and in gel capsules for more precise control of the dosage of intake.

Skin health benefits
Recall that acne on the skin can be caused both by insufficient level of daily hygiene, and by a bacterial infection. In particular, acne is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Research suggests that the vegetable omega-3s in chia oil can help fight this infection.
It is due to this property that chia oil is often included in cosmetics for improving skin condition. In addition, antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins also play an important role in protecting the skin from free radicals and in recovering from sun exposure.

What are the benefits of chia oil?

The health benefits of chia seed oil are due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Regular consumption of chia (both as seeds and oil) has been linked to lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
In addition, the plant-based omega-3s in chia oil help normalize blood sugar levels, serving as an important aid in the fight against diabetes. This is why chia seeds are believed to be beneficial for weight loss.
Another beneficial property of chia oil is its positive effect on metabolic processes in the brain. Several pilot studies suggest it may be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s and other dementia-like conditions.

Chia seeds are the seeds of the chia plant. Their benefits lie both in a positive effect on the digestive process, and in a high content of various antioxidants (from omega-3 to phytonutrients). In turn, chia seeds have no evidence of proven harm or contraindications.

Which vegetable contains the most carbs?

chia seeds


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