Recently, the internet has been loaded with stories of this miracle food and how it plays a role in giving great health outcomes. Another reason for its increasing popularity is that they are “gluten-free” and are helpful to people who are suffering from this disease.
Are Chia Seeds Good For You?
Health-conscious individuals are more aware of this particular food item but people who are not much into food are not that familiar with it.
A lot of people have gained popularity in promoting weight loss programs by inculcating it in their diet plans to achieve desired weight loss and attract more customers.
With frequent episodes of the success stories of chia seeds prevailing on the internet, there is an increase in its consumption by the masses and the market industry expects it to be worth USD 88 million by the year 2024 (*).
Let me help you in understanding what chia seeds are, how you can use them, and how you can place these wonderful blessings of nature in your kitchen. So here we go.
Belonging in the category of superfoods or functional foods, meaning that they offer more benefits apart from just providing nutritive value such as improving gut health, lowering cholesterol, improving blood sugar levels, weight reduction and improving lipid profile, etc. (*).
Around 100g of chia seeds contains (*):
It is rich with B-complex vitamins (thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, niacin B3, folate B9) and minerals (with higher percentages of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc).
From plant sources, it is considered as the richest source of omega-3 fatty acid which plays a key role in maintaining arteries, heart and other parts of the body. It is also regarded as a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids required by the body as they are not synthesized, thus is dependent on diet.
How To Use Chia Seeds
#1. Chia seeds love to absorb water. They can hold 12 times more water as compared to their weight. Add them in water to have soft gelatin which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and can be added as per preference.
#2. Include them in your smoothies, juices, milkshakes, and beverages to add a nutritive kick to your drink.
#3. It can also be added to soups and gravies to thicken the consistency.
#4. Add it in fresh juices and have home-made healthy jellies or in milk to make a nice dessert variation.
#5. It can also be used as a replacement for oil or egg in baking (*).
#6. Chia seeds can also be sprinkled during bread-making or making any dough to enrich the overall nutritive value.
#7. Upon your creativity and preference, try adding chia seeds in whatever way you like. In your breakfast cereals, cakes, cookies, pasta, yogurt, sauces, jams or preserves.
#8. Unlike flax seeds, which need to be grounded for the body to utilize, chia seeds can be eaten as a whole due to its delicate surface which easily breaks with water.
How To Buy Chia Seeds
#1. Nowadays, chia seeds are available in the market very easily as compared to previous years. Moreover, with the increasing trend of online shopping, you can also order them and you will be delivered this novel food at your doorstep.
#2. These seeds are available in two varieties (black and white) but there is no difference in their nutritional content. Avoid buying seeds of any other color as they may not be of good quality.
#3. Prefer buying chemical-free or organic chia seeds from reputed companies or stores known for providing quality products.
#4. Whole seeds should be preferred over grounded.
#5. Ensure that the package is vacuum-sealed, shows no signs of mishandling, and looking good.
How To Store
Chia seeds can last for 2 to 4 years. Storing it in a cool, dry and dark place is preferred.
It is always advised to keep that much amount which will be easily consumed by you and your family. Although large quantities can be stored, if they are exposed to moisture, they will lose their benefits.
Chia seeds can be stored in a cold or dry chamber, in glass containers or paper containers, for 12 months, without hindering the seeds functional quality (*).
It is always best to store any food in an air-tight container and be placed in the fridge as the temperature is cool and constant or it can also be stored in the freezer for a longer period.
Keep them in a place where you can see them easily to increase your chances of consuming it more because they say out of sight makes it out of mind.
One and a half tablespoons of chia seeds twice a day are suggested for daily consumption. Add these seeds in your daily routine to maximize your nutrient intake. Sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal, in smoothies or drinks to add wholesomeness to your meals.
They should be either black or white (their natural color) and not brown.
Chia seeds do not go bad if stored properly. On average, they are good for 2 to 4 years under proper storage conditions.
Keeping chia seeds in airtight containers and then placing them in the refrigerator helps them to avoid turning bad. They can also be placed in the freezer.
Gelled chia seeds can be placed in the refrigerator and will be good for a week.
The rule is the same. Put it in an airtight container in a dry place and away from heat, light, and moisture to increase its shelf life.
Yes. They can turn rancid if not stored properly. Mold can also appear on chia seed flour if it comes in contact with water. Throw the whole batch instead of scraping the clumps or scooping the moldy part as chances are that it may have affected the whole lot.
Packed with nutritive properties, these seeds have a high content of protein, amino acids, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Store these little ones carefully and they will help uplift your health.
Being the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, they should be complemented with everyday food. Whether you prefer taking it in breakfast or lunch or you prefer enjoying it as a dessert with family on the dinner table, chia seeds add crunch and great health benefits.
*Photo by 22ImagesStudio/depositphotos