THE CHIA SEEDS: EL DORADO IN NUTRITION

ALL HEALTH BENEFITS OF THIS LITTLE FOOD

“Health requires healthy food. “

-Roger Williams

 

I promised that I will write more about nutrition within this year because I find the balanced eating habit being the foundation of good health.  Since we are all boosted with instant trends and fast way of life, seeking for a quality nutrition is like a playing lottery. You never know what do you get at the end of the day or at the end of your grocery adventure. The markets are full of brands and offers but what is really healthy behind the quantity and inviting adverting ? It is not enough that we practice sport regularly, we need to provide the substantial nutritional elements to our bodies and to provide our immune system with munition to fight back inflammation and any kind of future organic deviation.

 

Some years ago, I read one article about the fact that the battle between benign and malign cells is happening every single day and in every single organism. What is the message of it? You need to provide your temple with efficient army that will protect it and this means healthy food and healthy eating style. The term healthy food helps us to understand which food gives a  contribution and maintain our health and good energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals and how you organise them and how you consume them is actually your own diet. When I say diet, I do not suggest any kind of deprivation from food or exhaustion  for being thin and unhealthy but smart enjoyment of food in combination with sport and outdoor activities. This is the perfect formula of being healthy and fit, everything else is an ignorant campaign of fashion and cosmetic industry that earn money on convincing people they should be hungry all the time.  There is no magical pill to help you being fit if you don’t do that by yourself because being strong inside and outside is a long-term process, life journey and life style. It means balance between mind and body and  that balance turns you into the person who is happy and pumped with creative energy.

In order to reach that state of mind and body, we need to focus on the qualitative elements in our eating options. I would start with giving a moment of fame to the chia seeds.  Those seeds originate from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, also known as a mint family. Born in Central America and with the history of important place in the ancient Aztec diet and also used by Native Americans in the southwestern parts of the United States.

The real rise of the chia seeds comes out with the medical facts that chia seeds are an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acid and an excellent source of fibre, protein and minerals.  It is not accidentally that chia means strength in old Mayan language. The tiny seeds deliver more than strength but full variety of crucial comments for healthy living style. Beside fibre, protein and good fat, the black seeds contain calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin ( vitamin B3), potassium, thiamine (vitamin B1) and vitamin B2. They are completely organic and free of gluten. What do we need more? The next advantage of them we could find in their antioxidant nature and effective fight of free radicals, directly responsible for damaging of our cells and occurring of diseases like cancer. Full of good proteins and omega-3 Fatty acids, the chia seeds seem to be valuable food that lower our risk of heart disease, enhance our bone structure and even reduce blood sugar level and cholesterol.

How we can implement them in our daily food program ? They have multidimensional purpose and I would start with using them in the mixture of water and lemon juice for sustained energy, just like do some Mexican tribes. If you like salads, you can try with chia seeds as a part of topping for salads and oatmeal. Those little seeds could be incorporated in smoothies and pudding.

Here is one delicious recipe for enjoying chia seeds to the fullest:

“Raspberry ripple chia pudding 

  • 50g white chia seeds
  • 200ml coconut drinking milk
  • 1 nectarine or peach, cut into slices 
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 100g raspberries   
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • Divide the chia seeds and coconut milk between two serving bowls and stir well. Leave to soak for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until the seeds swell and thicken when stirred.Meanwhile, combine the purée ingredients in a small food processor, or blitz with a hand blender. Swirl a spoonful into each bowl, then arrange the nectarine or peach slices on top and scatter with the goji berries. Will keep in the fridge for 1 day. Add the toppings just before serving.”

 

There is also a possibility to use them in daily cooking or desserts. The chia seeds bread is also very popular recently because of the increasing role in weight loss and inflammation efforts.  I find chia seeds extremely delicious simply mixed with greek yoghurt.

As always, it is very important to eat chia seeds in moderation to be able to avoid any stomach problems or intestinal gas. Some people can consume it in overdoses and it could possibly cause the bloating and other digestive issues which we all do not need or do not want. So, make sure you make a place for chia seeds in your daily nutritional schedule but do that in balance and be sure you are enough hydrated.
The chia seeds are like a miracle on the table with the mystical past that brings us in the ancient parts of Latin America. The wise civilisations believed that chia gives stamina and nowadays, we continue to research the endless potential of tiny white, brown and black seeds from mint family. It is almost like a golden wire in our nutritional dreams, never enough. The chia teaches us what all nature has to give us if we just learn how to respect it. The real secret of good health is only in nature and nowhere else.

4 thoughts on “THE CHIA SEEDS: EL DORADO IN NUTRITION

  1. Sarah’s informative and relative article emphasizes the definitive interconnection between the present and the past (i.e. in the context of humanity): the Mesoamericans studied the Salvia hispanica (i.e. chia) for its medicinal and nutritional benefits, cultivated it and created byproducts from its base chemical ingredients.

    The word ‘chia’ itself was derived from the ancient Nahuatl adjective ‘chian’ (i.e. oily). This language reaches back to the 7th century CE, but Aztec knowledge of chia would have preceded this.

    Salvia hispanica is described and illustrated in the ‘Mendoza Codex’ and the ‘Florentine Codex’ (i.e. Aztec codices created between 1540 and 1585). Both describe and picture Salvia hispanica and its use by the Aztecs. Economic historians suggest that it was a staple food that was used as commonly and as geographically-spread as maize. Most of the Aztec provinces grew the plant; except for areas of lowland coastal tropics and desert.

    As all Mesoamerican peoples, Aztec society was organised around maize agriculture. The humid environment in The Valley of Mexico with its many lakes and swamps permitted intensive agriculture. The main crops in addition to maize were beans, squash, chilies amaranth and chia.

    As Sarah mentions, if humans revere and work with Nature, they can only benefit from it…

    Like

  2. What an excellent article, Sarah !

    Indeed, chia seeds are and excellent source of fibers, omega-3, and all the other vitamins and minerals you mentioned herein.

    I have chia seeds at home, but I have recently forgotten to use them in my salads as I usually do. Thank you for the reminder !

    Thank you, Sarah, for all your educational articles. As for the writing, it’s outstanding as always !

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !