Chia seeds are a popular star ingredient in various healthy eating recipes, including baked goods, protein bars, and smoothies. As per the latest trends in food, Chia seed powder is one of the most sought-after superfoods.
Why the hype around chia seeds? Aside from adding flavor and texture to your favorite foods, they also have health benefits.
Let's learn about Chia seeds to see why they're considered a superfood.
Chia seeds are small and round and come in black, brown, and white varieties. They are derived from the mint family's flowering plant Salvia hispanica. It is indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala. Although edible chia seeds are related to the chia plants made famous by Chia Pets, they are not the same seed.
When chia seeds are mixed with liquid, a gel forms around them, giving chia beverages a unique texture. They can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid, making them ideal for keeping baked goods moist.
Initially grown in Mexico, Chia has long been prized for its medicinal and nutritional properties. At one point, it was even used as currency.
Chia means "strength" in Mayan, and chia seeds were called "runners' food" because runners and warriors used them for fuel while running long distances or fighting. Aztec warriors ate them for energy and endurance, claiming that one spoonful could keep them going for 24 hours.
For centuries, Salvia hispanica has been used for its powerful healing properties in many branches of traditional medicine. Chia seeds have been mentioned as an essential ingredient in Ayurvedic diets.
Chia contains a high concentration of protein (amino acids), fiber, manganese, phosphorus, and calcium, thus making it a good chia seed protein powder. As previously stated, it is high in omega-3s (polyunsaturated fatty acids), namely-linolenic and linoleic acids.
It also contains polyphenols and antioxidants like caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and others.
According to the USDA, one ounce (about 28 grams) of dried chia seeds contains approximately:
Chia contains vitamins A, B, E, and D and minerals like iron, iodine, magnesium, copper, niacin, and thiamine.
Dried chia seeds can be found in most grocery stores' health food sections or ordered in bulk online. There are several varieties available, including:
The most popular option is dried.
Regardless of the type, choose organic chia seed powder whenever possible, and check the expiration date to ensure they are safe to eat.
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