The Chia Seed Guide: Everything about the exotic superfood
Chia seeds were one of the most important staple foods of the Toltecs and Aztecs thousands of years ago. After the decline of the empires by the Spanish, the plant was imported to Europe, but was used exclusively for animal feed. It was not until the 20th century that the power seed found renewed attention in the USA.
Since 2013, the Chia seed has also been marketed in Europe. It is a superfood, with a high content of secondary plant compounds, vitamins and trace elements. In the food industry, Chia Seeds have a very high value today, due to their health-promoting properties.
What exactly are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are obtained from the clover fruits of the Mexican chia plant (salvia hispanica). It belongs to the sage family. The small, about 2-3mm large round seeds can have a black or white appearance. They contain important and valuable ingredients. The superfood has little flavour of its own and can therefore be added to any dish as a healthy addition or used as a topping.
Chia seeds are rich in essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), fibre and antioxidants. They have a high content of vitamins A, C, E and B-complex, as well as the minerals iron, copper, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.
Thanks to the many fibres, the seeds keep you full for a long time and ensure a constant blood sugar level. This prevents cravings.
The seeds can also do something good for your nerves. The seeds increase your well-being and provide you with essential nutrients.
As a dietary supplement and its positive effect on the body
Chia seeds contain the essential amino acids that are important for our body and that the human body needs to build up its total protein. They have to be supplied through food. Amino acids are necessary for cell renewal, for a stable metabolic balance and for energy production.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These unsaturated fatty acids lower cholesterol levels and have a positive effect on the vascular system. They prevent cardiovascular diseases and lower blood pressure. The dietary fibres of the black seeds have a digestive effect and protect against constipation.
The antioxidants contained in chia seeds work against cell damage and are thus a good prevention against premature skin ageing. The important vitamins are significant for healthy metabolic function. The valuable minerals support the central nervous system and have an influence on muscles and joints.
How much Chia seeds should I eat per day?
The recommended amount of black seeds is currently 15 grams per day (1 tablespoon), maximum 30 grams per day. Since they have a high swelling capacity, attention should be paid to sufficient fluid intake (about 2 litres per day).
It should also be mentioned that the superfood has a very high fibre content. It contains 34 g of dietary fibre per 100 g. It thus surpasses kidney beans (per 100 g, 21 g fibre), other grains and pulses many times over.
How can I prepare and best enjoy chia seeds?
Basically, the superfood should always be eaten raw, as cooking destroys the healthy ingredients. The pseudo-cereal can be prepared in many ways. Chia gel fills you up for a long time and is excellent for smoothies, muesli, porridge and yoghurt. You can also prepare a healthy dessert with chia, a chia pudding.
Do you prefer to eat ground chia? No problem. However, you should grind it just before eating it so that the seeds do not lose their fresh aroma. Roasted, the superfood is a crunchy topping for salads and soups.
Chia seed can also be used as a substitute for animal products. It can be used as a substitute for eggs or butter. If you are in a hurry in the morning, you can prepare Chia Seed as Overnight Oats. Simply stir it into yoghurt or muesli the night before, put it in the fridge overnight and enjoy it stress-free the next morning.
For a healthy breakfast, soak chia seeds and stir them into smoothies, mueslis and yoghurts. But you can also use them as a butter substitute for a delicious honey bread. As a warm breakfast, for example for a nutritious porridge, they make an excellent topping.
At lunchtime and in the evening, they refine hearty dishes with meat, fish, vegetables and salads. As an addition when baking bread and cakes, the antioxidants contained in the super seeds ensure that the baked goods stay fresh for a long time.
Discover the variety of Chia seeds with Verival
The company Verival, known for its high-quality and tested breakfast products, offers a wide range of chia superfoods and recipes. The Strawberry Chia Porridge is particularly suitable for a warm and healthy breakfast due to its quick preparation time. It stands out due to its organic processing and is also gluten-free, vegan and sugar-free.
Verival also offers chia in a seed mix. It is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The seed mix can be served with desserts as well as savoury dishes. Of course, you can also buy the pure seeds of the chia plant to refine your dishes individually.
Soak Chia Seeds
If you want to make gel chia, 3 cups of water is added to 1 cup of the seeds. Leave to steep overnight in the fridge. Refrigerated, they will keep for 2-3 weeks.
The Chia Seed Pudding
A delicious and simple recipe for making a chia seed pudding with blood orange and tangerine.
Soak Chia Seeds in Coconut Rice Drink overnight. Stir well before putting it in the fridge.
Peel the citrus fruits and divide them in a few individual slices.
In the morning, take Chia Pudding out of the fridge and top with blood orange and tangerine wedges.
Finish by adding a touch of grated coconut and pistachios and voilà.
Chia seeds or flax seeds – which is better?
Flax seeds and chia seeds are very healthy. However, salvia hispanica seeds contain more omega fatty acids, and have higher levels of calcium and vitamin B1.
Is there a disadvantage to chia seeds?
Since chia seeds stimulate digestion, the recommended amount should not be exceeded, otherwise the seeds can cause disadvantages. In case of an overdose, flatulence and a feeling of fullness may occur. In the case of cardiovascular problems, people with low blood pressure or those taking anticoagulant medication, a doctor should be consulted before taking the seeds.
Correct preparation for intestinal problems
The black seeds are a real all-rounder for diarrhoea or constipation. However, they should be taken as chia gel. It is recommended to stir 5 g of the seeds into 100 ml of water 3 times a day and let it swell for 10 minutes. Then add to muesli or yoghurt. You should also make sure that you drink enough fluids.
Long transport routes to the end customer
The main cultivation area of the Chia plant is South America and Central Mexico. Long transport routes are needed to import the superfood to Europe. This means an increased environmental impact. So everyone has to weigh up for themselves whether they want to consume the healthy seeds.
Conclusion – Chia seeds are good for your health
Long forgotten, the healthy black seed has now gained great importance in nutrition. Its valuable ingredients give the body strength and vitality. The all-rounder in terms of health alleviates many illnesses. Due to its gentle, nutty flavour, it is used in almost all dishes in the home kitchen.
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