Chia seeds, very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, come from the flowering plant Salbia Hispanica L. The seeds are rich sources of antioxidants and many amino acids. Chia seeds are oval-shaped around 1mm in diameter, colored in brown, gray black and white. Nutrient value of the seed is 20% of protein, 34% of oil and 25% of dietary fiber.
In addition, chia seeds contain high levels of antioxidants such as chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol flavonols. Around 64% of seed is composed from omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are gluten-free and contain insignificant levels of sodium.
Weight loss benefits
Chia seeds have high levels of fiber. It is extremely beneficial in weight loss diet because, added to food, fibers provide a bulk and promote the feeling of fullness. It is very easy to incorporate chia seeds into the daily diet. A handful of seeds may be easily combined with a salad or soups, to make one feel more satiate and prevent food cravings.
Another significant attribute of chia seeds is the ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water. When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia seed forms a gel. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. The similar process takes place in the stomach, where chia seeds absorb fluids and form a bulky gel.
The gel that is produced in the stomach creates a physical barrier among carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. The bulk in the stomach gives dieters a feeling of fullness and helps to reduce appetite. This way, chia seeds significantly assist in weight loss programs.
Other healthy features
Chia seeds are the greatest known plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains 62% to 65% of these essential fatty acids necessary for human health. Chia seeds are high in calcium – they contain five times more calcium than milk (600 milligrams in 10gm). 19% to 23% of their weight is a pure complete protein with all the essential amino acids.
Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory food high in vitamins and minerals, loaded with antioxidants. Incorporating chia seeds into diet brings prolonged hydration and retention of the electrolytes, which makes it great for athletes.
It may be used in daily diet and it’s appropriate for all ages. There are many ways to incorporate chia seeds into family diets. One can eat raw chia seeds or leave them in the water or juice to form a tasty gel. They can be added to salads, desserts, spicy foods, or smoothies. Chia seeds won’t affect the taste of the food.