Chia seeds: with what and why eat them?
Chia seeds are rapidly spreading and gaining popularity among adherents of a healthy diet. But many, standing in front of a supermarket shelf with this rather rare product, will think about whether to take it? Why are these outlandish seeds so useful and, most importantly, how to cook them? Let’s get it right.
The seeds of this plant of the sage genus came to us from Central America. In 2005, the European Union recognized chia seeds as a “promising food.” Yes, this food is really very promising. Especially when you consider that only two tablespoons of these seeds – and this is enough to cook such a delicious and refreshing raspberry “jam” – contain at their 140 kilocalories as much as 5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. And do not be afraid of 9 grams of fat contained in this portion. After all, most of it falls on essential fatty acids: a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds will more than provide you with the daily norm of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and about one sixth of the norm of linoleic (omega-6) fatty acids.
Let me remind you that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are called indispensable because they are critical for the health of the human body, which is not able to synthesize them on its own. Therefore, it is so important to eat foods containing these healthy fats. And the change of chia belong to them rightfully. Thanks to omega-3 and omega-6, they reduce inflammation in the body, which leads to various diseases, have a beneficial effect on blood vessels and joints. These fatty acids help with dry eyes and support the function of the retina; they are needed for healthy, radiant skin.
The benefit of small gray grains does not end there, because they are rich in other trace elements. The same two tablespoons of chia seeds contain about 40% of the daily intake of manganese, one third of the norm of copper, phosphorus and selenium, a quarter of the daily intake of magnesium and almost 20% of the recommended daily dose of calcium. It is not necessary to say that all these elements fulfill a huge number of functions in our body and in their own way are important for its normal functioning. For example, manganese is involved in the formation of bone and connective tissues, magnesium is essential for the health of the cardiovascular system, and copper improves the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates and helps provide cells with oxygen.
In addition, together with two tablespoons of chia seeds, you will receive almost 15% of the daily intake of vitamin B1 and PP (niacin equivalent). The first is part of the carbohydrate and energy metabolism enzymes that provide our body with energy, as well as the metabolism of amino acids. A deficiency of this vitamin leads to serious disorders of the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems. The second is involved in redox reactions of energy metabolism. Deficiency of this vitamin worsens the condition of the skin, disrupts the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system.
Cooking chia seeds is always exciting, because they have a magical property: if you pour them with water, they turn into a gel-like substance. By the way, this “jelly” has a positive effect on digestive processes and balances the absorption of beneficial and harmful substances in the body.
How to cook chia seeds? A lot of options. You already know about raspberry jam. The easiest option is to add them to a fruit or vegetable smoothie and beat in a blender. For example, combine a handful of spinach, a small bunch of parsley, a small cucumber, a celery stalk, pear or banana, a tablespoon of flax seeds and a tablespoon of chia seeds. Control the density by adding water.
Chia is also ideal for homemade popsicles. To get it, you need a smoothie made from banana, strawberries, kiwi and chia seeds, pour into ice cream tins and put in the freezer.
In my recipe app Live up! You will find several light and tasty chia seed desserts, including fruit and chocolate parfait and vanilla pudding. I’m sure your guests won’t realize that these delicious desserts are based on chia seeds.
It is important to keep in mind that drinks or desserts made from chia are better to drink / eat immediately or freeze, otherwise the seeds begin to oxidize and lose their benefits.