Chia Seeds - Overview, History, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

What Is Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are the seeds of a plant that is native to Mexico and belongs to the mint family, specifically the genus Salvia. Salvia hispanica is the scientific name for chia seeds, and the species name Salvia means "save." Chia seeds are tiny, blackish-brown seeds that are around 1 mm in size. They are water-absorbing and swell to create a jelly-like coating around themselves when they take in water. For this reason, chia seeds are said to absorb water and expand in the gastrointestinal tract, causing a feeling of bloating. Chia seeds are said to have intestinal regulating effects because they contain insoluble dietary fibre. Furthermore, chia seeds are high in the essential fatty acid α-linolenic acid and have been linked to a reduction in the risk of diseases associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. Additionally, it is rich in minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium, it is claimed to be beneficial for enhancing immunity, treating taste disorders, and preventing osteoporosis. Chia seeds are widely used in drinks and have gained popularity recently, mostly in India. They are a well-balanced blend of several healthful elements. As a result, the demand for it has expanded to the point where it is now mostly grown in South America.

History Of Chia Seeds

Along with corn and beans, chia seeds were a staple diet for the ancient Mayans and Aztecs living in central Mexico as early as 1000 BC. Because of this, there is a legend that the native populations of Mexico had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, this diet faded with the arrival of the Spanish settlers in the 16th century. However, in recent times, it has been found that chia seeds are rich in minerals and have an excellent nutritional balance. As a result, there is a growing demand for chia seeds globally, particularly in the United States, India, etc and organic cultivation has begun in many countries.

Types of Chia Seeds

There are two types of chia seeds- white chia seeds and black chia seeds

Chia seeds are grey with white and black spots, but they can be divided into black chia seeds, which are completely black, and white chia seeds (salva chia seeds), which are completely whitish. Since ancient times, people have consumed black chia seeds. However, white chia seeds are produced by selecting and cultivating trace amounts of white chia seeds. Compared to black chia seeds, white chia seeds expand more and are more absorbent. White chia seeds are more satisfying and useful for dieting than black chia seeds, which absorb water around ten times less than white chia seeds. Furthermore, white chia seeds are higher in dietary fibre and α-linolenic acid than black chia seeds, but black chia seeds are higher in minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.

Nutrient Content Of Chia Seeds

The table below lists the components and nutrients that are present in 100g of dry chia seeds (before they absorb water). The content of alpha-linolenic acid is among the highest, and one tablespoon (about 10g) provides about 1.8g of omega-3 fatty acids.

As the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids is 2 to 2.4 g for adult males and 1.6 to 2.0 g for adult women, one tablespoon of chia seeds is estimated to supply nearly the whole recommended daily allowance. In addition, it is rich in protein, minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc, B group vitamins, and dietary fibre.

Food name Chia seeds (dried)

Energy (kcal) 494 kcal/100g

Moisture 6.5 g/100g

Protein 20 g/100g

Amino acid 18.2 g/100g

Lipid 33.9 g/100g

Dietary fibre 36.9 g/100g

Potassium 760 mg/100g

Calcium 570 mg/100g

Magnesium mg/100g 360

Benefits Of Chia Seeds

Regulate Intestinal Environment: It is claimed that chia seeds can control the environment inside the intestines. In the intestines, there are good bacteria and bad bacteria, but if we don't take in the good bacteria and the ingredients that feed them, then the intestinal balance will be upset and the body as a whole will suffer. This will cause a change in the Chia seeds which are rich in dietary fibre, especially insoluble dietary fibre. It is said that insoluble dietary fibre regulates the environment inside the colon. It follows that the high dietary fibre content of chia seeds should have the impact of controlling the intestinal environment.

Prevent Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis, which is believed to affect older adults and postmenopausal women more frequently, is a disease which decreases the density of bones in different sections of the body, making the bones brittle and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis affects bone mass and femur and other bone fractures frequently interfere with everyday life, so early diagnosis is thought to be crucial. Lack of calcium is one of the reasons why people get osteoporosis. Chia seeds are high in calcium, thus eating them is assumed to help prevent osteoporosis.

Improve Lifestyle-Diseases: Chia seeds are a great source of the unsaturated fatty acid α-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is classified as an omega-3 fatty acid, along with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which are found in fish oil. Specifically, the body needs α-linolenic acid to synthesise DHA and EPA. However because the human body is unable to generate alpha-linolenic acid, it is considered an essential fatty acid that needs to be obtained from diet. A shortage of these omega-3 fatty acids is thought to be the cause of disorders relating to lifestyle choices as well as abnormalities in the skin, brain, and nerves. Because of its high alpha-linolenic acid content, chia seeds may help prevent diseases linked to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Beautiful Skin-Effect: Since humans absorb nutrients from their intestines, it is believed that rough skin and pimples will result from a deteriorating intestinal environment and an increase in harmful bacteria. Chia seeds include a high concentration of insoluble dietary fibre, which is believed to regulate the skin condition and the digestive environment. Even chia seeds are also used in the cosmetic world. You can prepare chia seed masks for your skincare routine.

Lower Blood Sugar & Neutral Fat: It is reasonable to anticipate that the alpha-linolenic acid in chia seeds will reduce neutral fat and thin the blood. By taking it, you can avoid problems linked to your lifestyle, like high blood pressure and blood clots. Furthermore, glucomannan can decrease the rise in blood sugar levels following meals, which suggests that it may be useful in the prevention of diabetes. After a meal, a sharp spike in blood sugar can also cause an increase in body fat, which can be advantageous for both health and appearance.

Prevent Anaemia: Chia seeds are helpful to prevent anaemia. It has a lot of iron, which is a recognised haemoglobin component, and copper, which is needed for haemoglobin formation. Red blood cell formation is aided by folic acid which is available in chia seeds. Actively including chia seeds is an excellent suggestion if your body is prone to anaemia, such as during menstruation or on a diet.

Antioxidant effect Prevents Aging: Antioxidant action is the action of suppressing the action of active oxygen in the body. An overabundance of free radicals can damage cells, oxidise lipids, and weaken blood vessels, among other things. Chia seeds contain a lot of the mineral selenium, which has potent antioxidant qualities. Additionally, it includes polyphenols with antioxidant properties, like chlorogenic acid. Because of this, chia seeds not only shield your skin from disease but also reduce wrinkles and age spots, making your complexion look younger.

How to Eat Chia Seeds Wisely

  • Eat without heating: Since chia seeds have no flavour at all, people usually eat them mixed with other foods. Don't combine it with anything too hot. The alpha-linolenic acid contained in chia seeds is sensitive to heat and easily oxidised, so it is recommended to pair it with cold salads, drinks, yoghurt, etc. without heating it. 
  • Eat and chew food thoroughly: It's commonly believed that chewing food completely increases the ease with which nutrients are absorbed. Your body will be able to absorb the nutrients in chia seeds more effectively if you chew them completely. Additionally, chewing your food well will activate your satiety, which will facilitate feeling full after just a short meal. Additionally, chewing increases the activity of your digestive system, which raises your resting metabolism and increases the amount of energy you waste. As a result, we advise you to chew chia seeds carefully and gently when consuming them especially if you're trying to lose weight.

Chia Seed’s Precaution

Although chia seeds are loaded with health advantages, you should use caution when consuming them.

  • Avoid eating it dry: Chia seeds can expand and absorb water. Consequently, use caution while consuming a lot of dried chia seeds as they may absorb bodily fluids and result in constipation. Although you can eat it raw, it's recommended to soak it in water beforehand. 
  • Avoid overeating: Take caution not to eat too many chia seeds due to their high-fat content and unexpectedly high-calorie content. One rice ball (100g) and four tablespoons (36g) of dry chia seeds have roughly equal calorie counts. One tablespoon (9g) of dry chia seeds per day is excellent starting advice. Be sure to take an appropriate amount depending on your physical condition at the time.
  • Hydrate yourself well: Drink lots of water if you eat chia seeds without first soaking them in it. Due to the ability of chia seeds to absorb water, dehydration may actually contribute to constipation. Remember to drink plenty of water because one tablespoon of chia seeds absorbs roughly 100 millilitres.
  • Chew your food thoroughly: Because the chia seeds have a hard shell, chewing them well will facilitate the breakdown and absorption of the nutrients. We suggest using it as is, mixing it into cookies, etc., or even mixing it into a beverage, but be sure to chew it well without swallowing it. As said, it is advisable to consume a lot of water if you ingest chia seeds that haven't been rehydrated.
  • Do not overheat if heating: Chia seeds have easily oxidised omega-3 fatty acids, but because they are oxygen-free and shielded by their shells, it's often thought that you can prepare them in a variety of ways just as seeds. Around the world, there are a tonne of recipes for heating chia seeds. However, it may oxidise if you cook it for an extended period of time at a temperature higher than 200°C. It is preferable to add it to soups, stews, etc. at the very end and avoid frying it when heating.

Chia Seeds Basic Recipe

There are numerous ways to prepare and consume chia seeds. When you think of it as a member of the same family as sesame, you instantly feel a sense of familiarity with it. You can use it for anything you come up with, such as toppings, baking, stews, and seasonings!

For Topping

  • Sprinkle it on salads to add a chewy texture
  • Sprinkle it on rice or chilled rice to feel like sesame seeds
  • Toppings for muffins, cakes, etc.
  • Toppings for yoghurt, parfaits, etc.

For cookies

  • Put it in bread or cookies
  • Mix it into homemade bread dough
  • Add it to cookies and pancakes to add dietary fibre

To thicken

  • For thickening stews and as a ``binder'' for hamburgers.
  • Take advantage of its thick texture to thicken stews and curries.
  • As a binder for hamburgers.
  • Add to yoghurt for a sticky and rich texture.

To bread

  • Grind it for dressings.
  • Grind and mix with soy sauce to make a sesame dressing
  • Grind and mix with honey to make a paste to spread on the bread
  • Grind and mix with oil or vinegar to use as a dressing

For dessert

  • For a dessert that allows you to enjoy the fluffy texture.
  • Add to custard for pudding-style
  • Add to cocoa for cocoa pudding-style
  • Just add yogurt, jam, and fruit for a jiggly dessert

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) On Chia Seeds

Do chia seeds affect diet?

When you take the right number of chia seeds before a meal, the glucomannan in them expands in your stomach, preventing you from overindulging. Furthermore, the dietary fibre that is soluble in water found in chia seeds can inhibit the increase in blood sugar levels following meals. Following a meal, the hormone insulin attempts to lower blood sugar levels and store the sugar as fat in the blood. This occurs when blood sugar levels rise. Consuming chia seeds before a meal reduces the rate at which blood sugar levels rise, which in turn inhibits the release of excess insulin. 

How long do chia seeds take to start having an effect?

Eight weeks after beginning consumption, weight loss was noted in an American research on obesity that included glucomannan. But to maintain a healthy diet, you should eat a well-balanced meal that consists of main courses, side dishes, and basic foods. You should also occasionally indulge in luxury foods like alcohol and sweets. It's critical to review the sum. Try to include exercise as well as maintain a reasonable range for the balance between calories consumed and expended. 

Do chia seeds have any drawbacks or adverse effects?

Individuals who get their dietary fibre from health foods or supplements may find that they are consuming too much chia seeds. This could lead to loose stools and disrupt the absorption of other nutrients. Although there is no recommended daily consumption of chia seeds because they are a food, why not aim for about 1 tablespoon.

How many chia seeds should one consume each day?

One tablespoon, or roughly 15g, of chia seeds should be consumed every day. Purchasing large bags in bulk is preferable if you want to use it daily.1 kilogramme of chia seeds: We suggest getting a big capacity at a good price.

What impacts do chia seeds have?

Chia seeds are a great source of the mineral selenium, which has potent antioxidant qualities. Additionally, it includes polyphenols with antioxidant properties, like chlorogenic acid. Because of this, chia seeds not only shield your skin from disease but also reduce wrinkles and age spots, making your complexion look younger.

What is the best way to consume chia seeds?

We suggest adding chia seeds straight to juice, smoothies, milk, and other drinks in addition to water since they swell up as they absorb moisture. Chia seeds pair well with fruit-based beverages.

When is consuming chia seeds beneficial?

Chia seeds are a nutritious food that can be consumed at any time. On the other hand, if you wish to prevent a sharp increase in blood sugar, it is best to take it about 30 minutes before meals. It also helps you feel full, so it's recommended for snack time when you feel peckish.

What advantages can chia seeds offer?

Chia seeds are rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They support digestion, and heart health, and may aid weight management. Chia seeds provide a lot of health benefits to the body. It is advised to consume daily in sufficient doses.

Is it OK to drink chia seeds every day?

Yes, in moderation. They're nutritious and safe for daily consumption, providing essential nutrients.

How many chia seeds a day may I eat?

Around 1-2 tablespoons (about 15 grams) daily is a common recommendation.

What is chia seed called in Indian language?

Chia seeds are often referred to as "Sabja" or "Methi Basil seeds" in India.

How to eat chia seeds?

Mix them into yogurt, or smoothies, or sprinkle them on salads. They can also be soaked in liquid to form a gel-like consistency.

How to use chia seeds?

Incorporate them into various dishes like puddings, oatmeal, or baked goods for added nutritional benefits.

How to eat chia seeds for weight loss?

Consume them with liquids, allowing them to expand and create a feeling of fullness. This can help control appetite and support weight loss.

How to take chia seeds for weight loss?

Soak chia seeds in water or other liquids before consuming them to enhance their digestibility and potential to promote satiety.

How to use chia seeds for weight loss?

Include them in balanced meals and snacks. Their fibre content can aid digestion and contribute to a feeling of fullness, supporting weight loss efforts.

What is chia seeds?

Chia seeds are small, nutrient-dense seeds derived from the Salvia hispanica plant. They are rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals.

What is chia seeds in Hindi?

Chia seeds are known as "Sabja" or "Basil seeds" in Hindi.

How to take chia seeds?

Soak them in water or other liquids for at least 15 minutes to form a gel-like consistency, making them easier to digest.

Is chia seeds good for weight loss?

Yes, chia seeds can support weight loss by promoting a feeling of fullness due to their high fibre content. Including them in a balanced diet can be beneficial.

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