Scientific Name: Chia Salvia Columbariae

Chia is a member of the mint family and grows naturally from the Mojave Desert all the way down Argentina. Chia for centuries was of great economic importance to Native Americans of Southwest and California Coast. It was a major food crop of the Aztecs.

Chia Seeds Varieties: Chia seeds come in two colors; black and white, the black seeds are more abundant and cost less than the white one. The nutritional values of the two varieties are similar, but some studies think the white may be more nutritious.

Nutrient Content of Chia Seeds: B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper.

How to Consume Chia Seeds: The pleasant and mild aroma of Chia seed makes it a versatile ingredient to any food preparation like baked goods, soup, sandwiches, sauces, smoothies and in recipes where you ordinarily use sesame seeds. The roasted seeds can be eaten raw or cooked; it can also be mixed with water and eaten as gruel or ground into flour for baking.

Recommended Dosage: Use about 1/4 teaspoon per serving.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:

  • One tablespoon of chia seeds mixed in water was reputed to have enough nutrition to sustain a man on a forced march for 24 hours.
  • An infusion of the seeds was also given as a fever remedy and as a poultice for gunshot wounds by the Spanish Missionaries.
  • Long distance hikers eat Chia seeds to provide energy.
  • According to study, Chia possesses the highest percentage of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic) of all crops. Chia seed contain 60% omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Complete protein food (protein content of Chia is higher than other grain products), meaning that it has the appropriate balance of all essential amino acids. About 19 to 23% of chia seed weight is protein.
  • High in fiber, a 15 gm serving of chia seeds will provide 4 to 5 gm of fiber. Our body requires at least 35 gm of fiber a day to stay healthy.
  • Contain boron which is essential for bone health.
  • Rich in calcium; about 2 oz of chia seeds contains 600 mg of Calcium, as compared to 120 mg for a cup of milk.
  • Contain two times more potassium than banana.
  • Contain three times more antioxidants than blueberries.

Ailments wherein Chia Seeds is beneficial: fatigue, weight loss, reduces blood clot, heart disease, diabetes, bone and digestive problems.

“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @ 20:10”

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

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