The name chia comes from the Aztec word for “oily”, which is “chian”, and this explains well what is one of the main benefits of chia; It is very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of unsaturated fat.
It is easy to get confused between omega-3 and omega-6. Basically, omega-3 fatty acids are fats that are not so easy to obtain. They are in fish oils, flax seeds, kiwi seeds and chia seeds, among other things. Omega-6, on the other hand, is found in many foods: nuts, vegetable oils, avocados, etc. As important as omega-6 fats are to our health, the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is equally important. Being so easy to consume the omega-6, it is very easy to end up consuming unbalanced the two types of fats. When it comes to the amount of omega-3 fat in various seed oils, the chia seed has the highest content, just above the seeds of kiwi, goat, and flax.
Chia seeds and digestion
Most health conscious people will be more familiar with flax seeds than with chia seeds. So, if you have ever put a spoon of flaxseed in water and left it for 30 minutes, upon returning you will have found a kind of sticky solution, like a kind of gelatinous consistency. Well, the same goes for chia seeds, which is another reason why they are so good for you; they act in the same way in your intestines. This means that they are really good for your digestive system, providing a large amount of fiber. In addition, this action of forming a gelatinous solution moves through your body and cleanses as you go. It is also believed that this gel physically prevents the rapid breakdown of carbohydrates in the body by slowing down the action of enzymes in carbohydrates.
Chia – A powerful nutrient
Chia seed was once a staple food of the Aztecs, loved for its ability to conserve itself and its endurance. In fact, you could live on chia almost entirely, because it has 19 amino acids, containing all the essential amino acids except taurine.
Chia does not contain gluten.
It is super high in dietary fiber, which makes it ideal for digestion and healing of digestive problems.
It contains 20% omega-3 ALA, which makes it a superfood for the brain and heart.
Chia has eight times more omega 3 than salmon!
Presents 20% protein.
It is high in antioxidants (it has an ORAC value four times higher than blueberries).
Chia contains five times more calcium than milk.
Chia contains seven times more vitamin C than oranges.
Chia contains three times more iron than spinach.
Chia contains twice as much potassium as bananas.
It is a food to keep skin, hair, and nails healthy.
It has a positive impact by balancing blood glucose levels (which makes it impressive for diabetics).
Chia is a great substitute for the egg. Just combine it with water to form a gel and add to the recipes that require eggs.
So, how do you consume it? Well, you can grind it into a meal called ‘pinhole’ and add it to almost anything. In Mexico, they mix whole chia seeds with water or fruit juice to make something they call ‘fresh chia’. It can also be germinated in the same way as alfalfa seeds and used in salads.