Chia seeds

Ways to include chia seeds in diet

Chia seeds comes from Salvia flowers of mint family. Saliva hispanica is the botanical name for the plant. Chia seeds are black or white in color and not brown. There is slight nutty flavor in these seeds and no significant flavor.

These tiny seeds were a staple food of Aztec and Mayan diets.  Chia seeds became popular in recent years throughout the world and people who wants to reduce weight and cholesterol try these seeds.

Just like basil these seeds also expand to hold water. They swell into gel like globules if you keep them on your tongue.

If you are not familiar with chia seeds before consuming understand how to incorporate them in our diet and should be aware of side effects.

Side effects of eating chia seeds: Some gastrointestinal issues like bloating, nausea, stomach pain, constipation and hard stool are possible. It can interfere with diabetic medicine and affect blood sugar levels.

One may develop rashes, hives, eye itching and watery eyes as symptoms of chia seeds allergy. Chia seeds contain Omega -3 fatty acids and can cause blood thinning and low blood pressure.

How to consume chia seeds?

Before proceeding with larger amounts, use chia seeds in smaller quantity. Slowly you can increase amount in your diet. Two ways to include chia seeds in your diet are:

  1. Chia pudding: Add chia seeds to almond milk or fruit juice. Chocolate pudding is popular with both kids and adults. For one glass of liquid add about 2Tbsp of chia seeds and stir it. Seeds will absorb liquid and it appears like pudding. It will take about 10 mins to get the globules. Add little cardamom powder for flavor.
  2. Grind chia seeds and add powder to food: Dry chia powder alone is bit bitter to taste. Prepare powder of dry chia seeds and add to smoothies, juices, oatmeal and yogurt. If you prefer sprinkle on salad. Mix chia powder with flax seed powder while preparing chutney powder. Sprinkle chia powder on dosa and waffles.

Do you know chia seeds can replace egg in vegan cooking?

After consuming dry chia seeds keep yourself hydrated as chia seeds absorb water in the system.

Health benefits of chia seeds:

Chia seeds are considered as super food because of density of nutrients it possesses. Fiber, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and zinc are main ingredients of chia seeds. Adults can consume 15 to 20 grams (2 to 3 Tbsp) of chia.  If your body shows any signs of side effects stop using it in your diet.

  1. Reduces cholesterol and good for heart health – Omega 3 fatty acid content presence makes it beneficial for heart health.
  2. Weight loss benefits as it contains good amount of dietary fiber and provides less calorie. But one should not just consume chia seeds for weight loss purpose. Add exercise and practice portion control in your daily regime.
  3. Reduces obesity – Once you consume chia seeds, stomach feels full due to its liquid absorbent nature and the hunger goes down
  4. For diverticulitis: It makes bowel movement easy. However, it is important to keep yourself hydrated after eating chia seeds. Consuming too much chia seeds can also cause constipation as it absorbs water. Drinking water reduces constipation and chia seeds globules will move in bowel easily.
  5. Good for diabetes condition: Like high fibrous foods, chia with high fiber helps to keep blood sugar at bay.
  6. Chia seeds for hair: Chia hair oil is gaining popularity thanks to its protein content. It prevents hair falling and gray hair and keeps hair in good condition. Chia hair oil mask with coconut milk or almond milk, aloe gel and lemon juice helps hair to grow thicker.

Green chia smoothie: Here is a healthy chia smoothie one should try

  • Baby spinach: 2 cups
  • Water: 1.5 cups
  • Orange: 1
  • Strawberries: ½ cup
  • Blueberries – ½ cup
  • Almond powder – 2 tsp

Blend all the ingredients and add 2 Tbsp Chia seeds and consume!

Image credit: Image by xie mzc from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: August 3, 2018

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