Published: 09/23/2014 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
If you don’t know about these seeds, now is the time to do it, because it is one of the seeds that contains the most health benefits. Chia, also known as Salvia Hispanica, is an herbaceous plant of the lamiaceae family. It grows annually, and can measure up to 1 meter in height. Its leaves, opposing each other, measure between 4 and 8 cm in length and 5 to 5 in width. They have hermaphroditic flowers that are an intense purple or white color, and the group in bouquets. The bloom in the summer, between July and August, when the flowers provide a fruit with a lustrous seed, brown or red in color, with surprising dietary properties.
Properties of chia
- Omega-3: is one of the vegetables species with a high concentration of the fatty acid Alpha linolenic, omega-3, as it is known. It has 700% more omega-3 than Atlantic salmon.
- ENERGY PROVIDING: it is also known as a hiking food, as this food provides a lot of energy that provides endurance and high energy. The Aztec warriors used it for this reason.
- Chia seeds are hydrophilic colloids, a base elements in cells that possess the property of quickly occupying essential substances to cellular life. The rush of hydrophilic colloids causes death to cancer cells.
- This tiny seed is an excellent muscle and tissue builder.
- DRY SKIN: it has moisturizing properties that are very beneficial to the skin.
- HIGH QUALITY PROTEINS: it has a high percentage of proteins, which are easily digested and absorbed, perfect in diets for children and adolescents.
- GLUTEN-FREE PROTEINS (CELIACS): Chia benexia has large amounts of proteins: they contain 19-23% protein, an amount greater than traditional grains, like wheat, corn, barley, and oatmeal. These proteins also do not contain gluten, making them a perfect food for celiacs, or people who are gluten-intollerant.
- CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: their easy absorption makes Chia seeds very effective during rapid tissue development, primarily during growth periods in children and adolescents.
- FIBER: rich in fiber, which stands out for its properties of increasing the size of bowel movements moving through the digestive tract, hydrating and making it softer and more flexible for defecation. Chia Benexia provides 27.6 grams of fiber per 100 grams of seed, which is 100% of the daily recommendations for the adult population. In general, it has 100% more fiber than any other leafy grain.
- INTESTINES, COLON CANCER, AND DIVERTICULUM: moist fecal matter stimulates intestinal movement, which helps reduce and prevent it from remaining for a longer amount of time in the intestines. It regulates intestinal movement and avoids, prevents, and cures constipation, diverticulum, and colon cancer.
- ANTIOXIDANTS: an excellent source of antioxidants. The majority of antioxidants are found in vegetables. The most important antioxidants contained in Chia Benexia are chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. They also contain myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. Antioxidants prevent premature skin aging and help it with effective cellular reparation.
- VITAMINS AND MINERALS: contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.
- CALCIUM, MILK, AND BONES: Chia Benexia is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper. It can contain between 13 – 354 times more calcium, from 2 – 12 times more phosphorous, and 1.6 to 9 times more potassium than 100 grams of wheat, rice, oatmeal, and corn. It has 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4 times more potassium than 100 grams of cow’s milk.
- PHOSPHORUS: it has 800% more phosphorus that whole cow’s milk.
- MAGNESIUM: it has a much higher percentage than broccoli.
- POTASSIUM: it has 100% more potassium than bananas.
- SELENIUM: it has a high percentage of selenium, a lot more than linseed. Selenium if hugely important for the protection it offers against cancer.
- IRON: Chia Benexia has approximately 2.4 times more iron in 100 grams than spinach, lentils, and liver.
- DIABETICS: the fiber in chia can dissolve gastrointestinal content, making it much more difficult for the substances that need to absorb it, to do so, just like what happens to glucose (sugar) and fats. Thanks to this function, fiber contributes to the prevention of multiple diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as has been proven in countless epidemiological studies.
- Contains Thiamine and riboflavin in the same percentage as rice and corn.
- Chia benexia has very high iron levels, making this level unusual for seeds. Comparing the amount of iron contained in Chia Benexia with other traditional products that are known as a source of this mineral.
Chia gel (made by dissolving a few tablespoons of this seed in fresh water and letting it set for half an hour) is excellent for the stomach and for people with diabetes. It creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that dissolve it, thus lessening the amount carbohydrates converted into sugar.
Ways of using chia
- Chia gel in water liberates mucilage, a gelatinous liquid that is flavored with vegetable juices or essences in Mexico, and consumed as a refreshing drink.
- Its seeds can be dried and ground to make a fine flour with an intense flavor. This flour is known by the name of pinole, and is primarily drank sweet. The tender chia plant sprouts are eaten as a vegetable, raw or cooked, and can be used to make salads or soups.
- The seeds are also added to fruit waters, especially lemon water, and drank together with water, giving it a different and gelatinous touch to the water.
- Chia oil is an excellent drying oil for protecting paintings, artisanal crafts, and wood. It is one of nature’s most perfect foods.
- It is the perfect dietary supplement in raw diets, or vegetarian and vegan diets, as it provides large amounts of nutrients.
A bit of history about chia seeds…
In antiquity and for centuries, this tiny seed was used as a primary food by indigenous groups in the south west United States and Mexico. The indigenous that walked from Rio Colorado to the Californian coasts to exchange turquoise for sea shells carried only chia to eat and nourish themselves, because of its extremely high nutritional value and medicinal properties.
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