Chia or Salvia hispanica lamiaceae, is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Guatemala, with a long history of use in medicinal and culinary applications. Centuries ago in pre-Columbian times, chia was a staple crop, comparable to maize (corn). The seed was commonly ground down into chia flour (chianpinolli) and used in tortillas, tamales and beverages. Beverages are still commonly consumed today as chia fresco, which is a mixture of whole chia seeds, lemon, fruit juice and sugar. The demand for these little seeds has increased over the past decade as they can be enjoyed in a variety of recipes, including smoothies, salads, sauces, dips and desserts.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
These oil based and naturally gluten free seeds are packed with nutrition. Comparable to ground flax seed, chia seeds are a good source of omega 3 fats and dietary fibre, allowing them to possibly help control blood sugar levels and lower cardiovascular disease risk. However, more research is needed in this area to provide adequate evidence to support the direct health benefits of consuming chia seeds. They are also a good source of plant-based protein, calcium and magnesium- minerals required for our body to function properly.
Nutritional Value of 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of Chia Seeds
- 106 calories
- 9 g carbohydrate
- 4 g protein
- 7 g fat
- 8 g fibre
- 14% of daily calcium intake
- 37% of daily recommended magnesium requirements
Did You Know
When left to soak in liquid, chia seeds swell and form a gel like consistency similar to that of a raw egg. Therefore, chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute in a variety of recipes! You can purchase black or white varieties at grocery stores or health food stores.