This Is Why You Should Eat Chia Seeds Everyday
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny, round seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant. They’re typically black or white, with no significant nutritional differences between the two colors. If you see brown seeds, they are not fully mature.
This plant, related to mint, is native to the deserts of Mexico. Today, chia seeds are grown in various parts of the United States, as well as Argentina, Australia, Peru, and Bolivia, with around 80% of the world’s supply coming from South America. However, the U.S. is the largest chia seed consumer, importing around 15,000 tons annually.
Even though chia seeds are still fairly new to the mainstream health community, native people have used them for thousands of years. In fact, they’ve been used for medicinal, religious, and culinary purposes throughout history.
Great Reasons To Eat Chia Seeds Everyday
High in antioxidants
Contains five time more calcium than milk
Contains seven times more vitamin C than orange
Contains three times more iron than spinach
Contains twice the potassium content of banana
Food for healthy skin, hair and nails
Super food for brain and heart
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids
Maintains healthy bones and teeth
Great source of protein for vegetarians
Improves heart health
How to Use Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be used in various recipes and added to favorite foods. Depending on the texture you want to accomplish, there are several ways to use them:
Most sources recommend soaking chia seeds for the most benefit. Since they are hydrophilic, they will attract water in the body if not soaked or added to liquid, so if you choose not to soak them, it is best to drink a lot of liquids after consuming them. Additionally, at least one person has gotten chia seeds lodged in his throat after attempting to consume them dry, so it is not recommended to consume them un-soaked (they are difficult to chew).
Another way to use them in recipes is to grind them up into a fine powder. This is especially helpful when you are using them as a thickener or want to get the benefits without changing the texture of a food. There is also some evidence that it may be easier for the body to absorb chia seeds when they are powdered before eating. See below for ways to incorporate ground chia seeds as an egg substitute or thickener.
If adding directly to foods or recipes that contain liquid, it isn’t necessary to soak or grind chia seeds first. They can be added directly to smoothies, soups, drinks, or even meat dishes to thicken without needing to soak first.
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