Everything That You Need to Know About Chia Seeds

  • By JC's
  • September 18, 2019
  • In News

Chances are that you’ve seen chia seeds in a breakfast bowl at some point in your life. These tiny black seeds are small in size but add plenty of flavour and pack a punch when it comes to nutrients. Chia seeds are extracted from a desert plant known as Salvia hispanica and are a close relative to mint. Look out for both black and white varieties but be sure to stay away from the unripe brown ones. When it comes to taste, expect a slight, neutral flavour which can be easily added to a variety of dishes. Chia seeds have a rich history and are at the top of shopping lists the world over. Let’s find out why.

History

 

Humans have been eating chia seeds for a long time. In fact, historians believe that they may have been grown by the Aztecs and Mayans as far back as the 16th century. The importance of chia seeds to ancient civilisations is thought to have been great, with the crop being used a means of tribute to high ranking rulers. In some cases, chia seeds were even used as an offering to pay priests and similarly respected groups of elders. Today, commercial growing remains strong in parts of central America such as Mexico, Guatemala and Bolivia. This has also spread to include Australia and the southwestern United States.

Health benefits

 

Despite their small stature, chia seeds can help you to grow big and strong. You’ll look amazing and feel great when you add a generous handful to your diet. Some of their health benefits include:

 

  • Increased antioxidants – chia seeds are full of helpful antioxidants that boost the body’s ability to fight the production of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful because they can cause a range of issues including cancer development and cell damage. Antioxidants can also reduce the impact of aging which is fantastic news for anyone looking to maintain a youthful glow for years to come.
  • Plenty of protein – the ancient Mayans had so much respect for chia that they even named a word after it, it was called ‘strength’. It’s no wonder then that these seeds are packed full of protein, which is great for muscle building, maintaining energy levels and keeping on top of general health. Looking to lose weight? Protein is the best nutrient to include in your diet to do just that.
  • More fibre – you’ll find a significant amount of fibre in chia seeds, enough to even rival that of the popular flax seeds. There are 10 grams of fibre in every ounce of chia seeds, which is good news for anyone looking to stay on top of their daily intake levels. Fibre is great for the body because it acts as a carbohydrate but doesn’t require insulin to be broken down and it doesn’t impact blood sugar levels. It will also benefit helpful bacteria in the intestines, which is a bonus for your gut.
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids – move the salmon aside and tuck into some chia seeds instead. Consumers can expect to enjoy a boost to their omega-3s and better health across the board. More specifically, you’ll be reducing your risk of heart disease too.

Ideal growing conditions

 

Growing chia plants to harvest seeds is quite simple with the proper information. Soil is one of the most important factors to consider before getting started. Chia requires light to medium clay or sandy soils for optimal results. The plant also thrives in hotter, more tropical climates. The seeds should be first sprinkled over soil and then pushed into the earth to ensure adequate coverage. It’s important that the seeds are watered at regular intervals to ensure a good yield.

Recipe ideas

 

You’ll find chia seeds in a wide variety of recipes because they are extremely versatile. They are commonly added to breakfast foods including muesli, porridge and yoghurt. Feel free to use chia seeds in puddings, cakes, milkshakes and much more. You can even sprinkle them over the top of salads for added texture. However you decide to use chia seeds, know that you will be benefiting from a world of health benefits that are sure to keep you in good stead.

Interesting facts

 

  1. Chia seeds can be mixed with water and used as an alternative to eggs in vegan cooking.
  2. They can be eaten cooked or raw but should always be adequately soaked prior to eating.
  3. Chia seeds can absorb a large quantity of liquid. In fact, they can take on up to 9 times their weight in water.

Spreading the seed

 

Looking to top up on delicious and nutrient dense chia seeds? J.C.’s Quality Foods has got you covered. We supply customers with quality products that are loved far and wide. We are an Australian family owned company and have been in business since 1994. Get in touch with our team today for all things chia seeds and more.