As per Wikipedia, scientific name of Chia seeds is Salvia Hispanica. It is a species of a flowering plant in the mint family which is a native to Central and Southern Mexico and Guatemela. You can read more about it here.
Chia seeds is quite a popular superfood. The basic nutrition profile per 100 g is as under(as per Wikipedia) –
- Energy – 436 kcal
- Carbs – 7.72 g
- Dietary fiber – 34.4 g
- Fat – 30.74 g
- Saturated – 3.330
- Trans – 0.140 g
- Monosaturated – 2.309
- Polyunsaturated – 23.665 g
- Omega -3 – 17.830 g
- Omega – 6 – 5.835 g
- Protein – 16.54 g
- Vitamin A equiv – 7%, 54 µg
- Thiamine(B1) – 54%, 0.62 µg
- Riboflavin(B2) – 14%, 0.17 µg
- Niacin(B3) – 59%, 8.83 mg
- Folate(B9) – 12%, 49 µg
- Vitamin C – 2%, 1.6 mg
- Vitamin E – 3%, 0.5 mg
- Calcium – 63%, 631 mg
- Iron – 59%, 7.72 mg
- Magnesium – 94%, 335 mg
- Manganese – 130%, 2.723 mg
- Phosphorus – 123%, 860 mg
- Potassium – 9%, 407 mg
- Sodium – 1%, 16 mg
- Zinc – 48%, 4.58 mg
- Other constituents
- Water – 5.80 g
- Cholestrol – 0 mg
Having seen the nutrition profile, it is quite evident that they are a powerhouse of nutrients. These small unassuming seeds have so much punch packed in. But how much to eat per day?
How Much ?
Adults can eat 15-20 gm – approximately 2-3 tablespoons to provide adequate omega – 3 for the day, alongwith other nutrients. People below 18 years of age should generally not exceed more than 10 gm or one tablespoon.
Whys of eating Chia Seeds
Having seen the nutritional profile, we can see it is an excellent source of anti – oxidants, proteins, fibre and whole lot of vitamins and minerals. It is said to help us in the following ways-
- Help build muscle and lose weight.
- Delays the aging process and maintain skin radiance.
- Improves digestive health.
- Regulates cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
- Help treat and reverse diabetes.
- Boosts energy and metabolism.
Hows of eating Chia Seeds
I am a very lazy guy(as proclaimed by family and friends), so I eat it raw. I don’t have the patience of soaking it for couple of hours before having them.
Now, if you eat it raw, one generally can’t chew on them properly. The nutrients in the seeds, therefore, are not released easily as compared to consuming after soaking or grounding them. It’s, thus, best to have them grounded in a grinder or soaked for a couple of hours before consumption.
To soak them, put 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds in a cup of water. After a couple of hours, you will find that the seeds have soaked some amount of water as well, making it a good source of water replenishment too. Chia seeds can hold upto 12 times its weight in water which means that they swell up. So, in case you are having them raw, make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards. The basic premise is that they swell because of soaking in water and hence, create a sensation of being full. Hence, we don’t hog on other food items and thus, lose weight. It’s that simple.
I told you earlier that I am a lazy guy. I will just pick up the jar of seeds and sprinkle some of it on whatever I am eating and keep drinking copious amounts of water throughout the day. But there are tons of ways in which you can have them. I will bring out a few examples.
- Sprinkle over smoothies and shakes.
- Ground them and make a paste and mix with jams, spreads etc.
- Add them to post workout whey protein shake.
- Mix up with hot or ice tea.
- Ground them and make a crust for meat and fish.
- Mix them in guacamole or hummus or any other kind of sauce.
I don’t know how to cook but with this I can be as creative as I can be. Sprinkle it, ground it, make a paste and mix it with anything you like. It will be an awesome addition to your foods and make it healthier. This has now become a daily part of my diet.
BONUS TIP – Keep the jar of seeds where they are visible or easily reachable. Otherwise, they can be missed. I keep them on my dining table itself, hence I eat them raw.
Hope you liked what you read today.
Till then stay fit and keep running.
What are the different ways do you eat the Chia seeds? Do share the recipe or photographs for the benefit of all.