100gm = ½ cup
chia seeds, black (organic, 100gm)
Chia is an edible seed with a nutlike flavour from the desert plant Salvia hispanica. It grows abundantly in southern Mexico & is a member of the mint family. Ancient Aztec warriors are thought to have used it as rations, one teaspoon sustaining a warrior for 24 hours!
Chia seeds are one of nature’s superfoods – high in:
- essential fatty acids– the richest natural plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are 30% oil, of which 64% is omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid). The omega 3 found in chia seeds is converted by the body into DHA and EPA fatty acids – the same kinds that are found in fish oil. Chia seeds are also rich in long-chain triglycerides, which help to maintain the proper wall flexibility of the cells and also restore the correct cholesterol to triglycerides ratio.
- protein– they have approximately two times the protein concentration
- soluble fibre- (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fibre
- vitamins A, B, E, D.
- minerals- calcium, (six times more calcium than milk does by weight and the calcium in chia seeds is more easily absorbable by the body than the calcium in milk), phosphorus, magnesium (fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli)manganese, copper, iron (Chia seeds have three times more iron than spinach), molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
Chia seeds are:
- are Cholesterol free & low GI
- can be stored for years with no deterioration
- are mucilaginous therefore are digestible without grinding.
Chia seeds are small and have the unique feature of a shell that turns gelatinous when it gets wet. When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. This gel can be mixed with foods such as mayonnaise, sauces, jams, etc. The gelatinous hydrophilic colloid formed by chia seeds when they are mixed with water or stomach juices, creates a physical barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. The carbohydrates are thus digested and converted into glucose (blood sugar) at a slow, uniform rate with no insulin surge or spike needed to lower the blood sugar level. This can also prolong endurance and can keep the body feeling fuller for longer.
Chia also acts as a sponge, absorbing toxins, lubricating the colon and strengthening peristaltic action, as such it is an appetite satisfier, so useful to dieters. It has also been valued for calming the nerves and strengthening the memory.
Chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. Store in a cool, dry place.
Chia seeds come in two colours- white and black. The main difference is related to where the seed was grown and the soil nutrition of the area.
This is a very useful gel to have handy in the fridge as it versatile and can be added to many foods. To make it add 1 part chia to 9 parts water. Whisk continuously to prevent clumping of the seeds. Wait a few minutes and then whisk again. Let it stand for 10-15mins. Give it one last
stir before placing it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. This gel can be added to milkshakes or smoothies, yoghurts, spreads such as peanut butter, jam or
nut spreads. It can be added to sauces such as mustard or BBQ & tomato sauce. Simply mix the chia gel to with the above mentioned food to add some nutrients. You can add more chia gel if required. You will find that the taste of the original food will remain fairly unchanged and you have all the goodness of the chia. It is also a healthy addition to stir fries, pies and salads and
anything else you can think of!