Chia seeds-An ancient grain trending in modern human diets

Health experts say, it is 30% exercise while 70% diet that can gift you a good health.

There are many myths related to diet and food items that can be incorporated in our daily diet for the best results. People go for different types of diets available in the market without even knowing about some of the best food items which are rich in protein, fiber and other nutrients.

chia seeds benefits

With increasing burden of modern age diseases, attitude of people has been changed drastically towards the diet, consequentially,  reviving back many forgotten nutritional and therapeutic food ingredients. Chia seeds is one of them with history of usage for about 5500 years, but recently gained enormous popularity.

What is the meaning of  “Chia”

The word chia is derived from a Spanish word chia which means oily. Origin of tiny “wonder seeds” Chia is from southern Mexico and northern Guatemala. Chia seed, small, is an oilseed.

The tiny white and dark seed is  potential power pack of  omega-3 fatty acids, superior quality protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and  antioxidants.

Also read: Benefits of fenugreek seeds

4 Useful Healthy Facts about Chia seeds

1. Diets high in fiber has therapeutic and preventive role. Chia seed contains appreciable amount of fibre, which can absorb up 15 times water the weight of seed!

Chia seed contains between 34 and 40 g of dietary fibre per 100 g, equivalent to 100 % of the daily recommendations for an adult. The fibre content of chia seeds is higher than quinoa, flaxseed, almond, soyabean, peanuts and amaranth.

High fiber content of chia can improve satiety and thus promote weight loss. The insoluble fiber in chia has a high water-holding capacity, which could be expected to induce a sense of fullness and restrict you from overeating.

2. The protein content of chia seed is greater than protein content of all the cereals! With 20 % protein content, chia possesses a massive potential to correct and prevent protein energy malnutrition.

Chia is gluten free and can be digested by the patients suffering from celiac disease.

All the 9 essential amino acids in chia in appreciable amount. Chia seeds can be a complement of cereal proteins that are deficient in the essential amino acids.

Being rich in protein Chia seeds are good option for the people who are aiming to loose weight as protein rich food (18 % of the total energy intake) leads to the loss of fats in the body. Chia seeds are good to add in your diet even if you are aiming to maintain weight.

3. Chia seeds contain 6, 11 and 4 times higher calcium, phosphorous and magnesium, many folds greater than our routine staples wheat, rice, oats and corn. Iron content in chia is  greater than that of present in spinach and liver.

Eating once ounce of chia seeds each day would provide 18 percent of daily calcium needs, 27 percent of phosphorus, 30 percent of manganese, and smaller amounts of potassium and copper.

4. The higher concentration of omega-3 in chia oil can help to correct the dyslipidemia i.e. increased LDL, triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol. Of all the known food sources chia contains the highest concentration of PUFAs.( ω-3 and  ω-6 fatty acids). Consumption of 7.3 g of chia seed per day provides 100% of the recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which
help to prevent chronic diseases related to diet.

Therapeutic values of Chia seeds

  1. Enhance heart heart
  2. Helps to control diabetes
  3. Repair of damaged tissue and general well-being
  4. Control of dyslipidaemia. Potential to lower the bad LDL cholesterol and increase beneficial HDL cholesterol
  5. Control of hypertension and triglycerides
  6. Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant activity

How to consume Chia seeds?

Chia seeds are used whole, ground and in the form of gel and oil.

US dietary guidelines recommend consuming chia as a primary source of food, chia sprouts can be used in salads, beverages and cereals based foods, baked products, bread, cookies  muesli, dairy drinks, fruit smoothies or salads and it can be consumed in raw form. They can also be used as thickeners in soups and sauces. You can add Chia seeds to pasta, ice cream, yogurt, sausages or soups.

Soak them in plain water, fruit juice, smoothies, almond milk, coconut water or other liquids before consumption. Add them to soups, oatmeal, puddings and even sauces to get more nutrients in your diet.

Restrict the usage of Chia seeds to no more than two teaspoons twice per day. Excessive use may have side effects.

Always mix chia seeds into another food or liquid before consuming, especially for people with a history of swallowing problems. Small children should not be given chia seed, they may be choked.


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