Black Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.)
Chia is an ancient crop that almost went extinct during the colonial era. But we’re glad it didn’t because chia, as it turns out when it was rediscovered by scientists just a few decades ago, is THE most nutritious grain on earth. (Curiously enough, “chia” in the ancient language of the Aztecs, roughly translates to, “energy”).
Health benefits of chia seeds
- Great for the heart, the brain, and everything else
- Chia is the richest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the development and repair of both the heart and the brain
- Chia contains all the nutrients and essential amino acids necessary for sustaining the human body. In survival situations, it is possible to subsist on only chia and water without any detrimental effects.
- It works wonders for athletes … and diabetics
- In Mexico, there is a tribe of what is referred to as the “natural super-athletes” called the Tarahumara Indians. These people can run across the desert non-stop for 48 hours refueling only with chia and water. (You know the Nike Shoe called Huarache? It’s named after the shoe worn by the people Tarahumaras).
- Marathoners can enjoy the same stamina boosting effects by drinking chia soaked in water or juice before and during the race. We have customer athletes who swear by the steady flow of energy it provides, saying that it works better than any energy drink laden with caffeine and sugar.
- When you soak chia, it forms a gel. What this gel does inside the body is that it regulates the conversion of carbs into sugar depending on what your current physical state demands. For this very reason, chia is an ideal superfood for diabetics to manage their blood sugar.
- Here’s an experiment for diabetics: Soak a tablespoon of chia in water and drink it 30 minutes before eating something your doctor doesn’t want you to eat. Then check what happens.
- It’s a dieter’s dream come true
- Drink a glassful of water with a tablespoon of chia seeds soaked in it before a meal. You won’t feel as hungry and you’d end up eating less.
- Your digestion will also improve. Due to its very high fiber content. It’s like Psyllium but it has all the nutrients your body needs.
- When you have eaten a relatively small amount chia, as with anything that is nutritionally dense, your brain tells your body that it’s already had its fill. Your cravings are turned off and you don’t feel hungry all of a sudden. With chia, you can lose weight and you won’t even feel it.
How to use chia seeds
- Dry chia has a slightly nutty flavor.
- When you soak chia, the seed softens and the gel takes on the flavor of whatever liquid you put it in.
- Chia is hydrophilic – which means it absorbs moisture. It absorbs water and turns it into gel which is responsible for many health benefits of its own. Because of this effect, it’s recommended that you soak chia first in the liquid of your choice before taking it so it does the liquid absorbing action outside of your body. It takes about 15 minutes for chia to fully gel up.
- To save time, you can take a pitcher of water and soak several tablespoons of chia in it ahead of time so you can just have your chia whenever you need. The chia water (or gelled chia in water, more precisely) can last in the fridge for up to two weeks. Make sure it’s in the fridge and not in room temperature unless you want to drink cute little chia sprouts instead.
- There’s no consumption limit. But a few articles indicate that if you’re a diabetic wanting to control your blood sugar, the ideal is an equivalent of three tablespoons of dry chia per day.