“Chia seeds” are a superfood that has been attracting attention as being useful for health management such as dieting, relieving constipation, improving immunity, and preventing osteoporosis. It is also known as a food that was useful in the ancient Maya and Aztec times. Learn about the nutrients in chia seeds and how to eat them effectively.
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Chia seeds are said to be a superfood, what are their benefits?
Chia seeds have become popular in the United States and are now attracting attention as a superfood in Japan. Chia seeds are a plant of the mint genus, and were an important food source for the ancient Maya and Aztecs, but they are also a superfood full of nutrients that modern people tend to lack. I will explain the actual effects of chia seeds, which are said to be good for dieting, relieving constipation, improving immunity, preventing osteoporosis, and improving the health of the mind and head.
Chia seeds have only recently gained attention in the United States and Japan, but in central Mexico they have been one of the major agricultural products since about 1000 BC. It is said that cultivation continued until around the 16th century, but after the Spanish occupation, cultivation was banned because it was related to the Aztec religion.
According to legend, chia seeds can keep you alive for a day with just one tablespoon of chia seeds. Warriors used chia seeds as a source of stamina. The Aztecs are said to have used it for its medicinal properties.
First of all, chia seeds do not need to be cooked, and one of the features is that they can be used simply by mixing them with other ingredients. When wet, the chia seeds will form a jelly around them.
1 tablespoon (12 g) of chia seeds provides 58 calories, 2 g protein, 4.1 g fiber, 76 mg calcium, 40 mg magnesium, 0.55 g zinc, 0.93 mg iron, and 2.14 g omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). It’s hard to understand if you just line up the numbers, so let’s explain one by one.
Note) To make it easier to see how much nutrition chia seeds contain compared to other ingredients, we compared the amount of 58 calories, which is the same calorie as 1 serving of chia seeds (1 tablespoon). I was.
■Dietary fiber is amazing
According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, dietary fiber is a nutrient that is lacking in intake for both men and women. Chia seeds contain a whopping 4.1g of dietary fiber. Brown rice contains only 0.5g and soybean contains only 2.2g, which are known to be high in dietary fiber. King-grade burdock contains 5.1g of dietary fiber, but it’s not as readily available as chia seeds. Dietary fiber plays a variety of roles, such as maintaining satiety and dieting, relieving constipation, slowing changes in blood sugar levels, improving cholesterol, and helping prevent diverticulitis.
A large amount of omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that are said to be important not only for heart health, but also for heart and brain health. Chia seeds contain 2.14g of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA). Eating walnuts, which are known to be high in omega-3 fatty acids, provides only 0.8 mg for the same amount of calories. Although the type of omega-3 fatty acid is not the same, the content is 0.4 to 1g if the same calorie content is the same as the top-class mackerel among animal products. The chia seed content is by far the best.
■ Calcium is amazing As is
well known, the amount of calcium intake for both men and women is far below the recommended amount. A lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, cognitive impairment, and high blood pressure. Chia seeds contain 76 mg of calcium. Milk, which is known to be rich in calcium, contains 96 mg, and cheese contains 110 mg. Chia seeds are among the top plant-based foods, albeit at slightly lower levels than top-tier dairy products. Among plants, broccoli, which is known to be rich in calcium, contains 67mg. Chia seeds also rank first in terms of calcium content.
■Iron is amazing
According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, both men and women are lacking iron on average, but women are particularly large and fall short of the recommended amount. If you don’t have enough iron, your immune system will be weakened and you will get tired easily. Chia seeds contain 0.93 mg of iron. Beef liver contains 1.8 mg of iron in 58 calories, and sesame contains 1 mg of iron, which are known to be rich in iron. A comparison shows that chia seeds have superior iron content. Spinach provides 5.8mg of iron per 58 calories, but you need to eat a fair amount (290g). I can’t eat a lot of spinach every day, and chia seeds are an honor student in terms of iron.
■ Zinc is also great
The average intake of zinc for both men and women is also below the recommended amount. A lack of zinc can lead to a weakened immune system, mental disorders, and taste disorders. Chia seeds contain 0.55g of zinc. Known to be rich in zinc, 0.4g in almonds, 0.6g in sesame seeds and 0.6g in eggs. Chia seeds are also rich in zinc.
■Magnesium is also great
The average intake of magnesium for both men and women is below the recommended amount. Magnesium is important not only for bone health, but also for mental and nervous function. Chia seeds contain 40mg of magnesium. Soybeans, which are known to be high in magnesium, contain 35 mg, almonds contain 30 mg, and sesame seeds contain 34 mg. Chia seed is also an honor student here. Sesame has also appeared frequently, but the difference between chia seeds and sesame is that it is thought that if the sesame is not smooth, the shell will get in the way and the nutrients will not be fully utilized. There are also concerns about oxidation. On the other hand, chia seeds are said to be able to use nutrients properly in the body due to the difference in the properties of the shell.
In Mexico and Central America, it seems that a drink called “Chia Fresca” is popular. Chia seeds are mixed with water, limes or lemons are added, sugar is added, ice is added, and the drink is chilled. When mixed with water, it will thicken with a nice texture. There are many ways to enjoy chia seeds, such as mixing them into cereal, mixing them into yogurt, grinding them into muffins, bread, and baking.
How to eat chia seeds 1
servings 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
330 ml of coffee milk (soy milk, almond milk, etc. are OK) A
little optional sweetener Honey, sugar, etc.
[How to make]
1) Mix chia seeds with milk. Be careful not to mix well or the chia seeds will stick together. Chill in the fridge for a few hours and voila!
*) The photo on the upper right is a mixture of chia seeds and chocolate soy milk.
servings Chia seeds 2 tablespoons
yogurt 2 servings
[How to make]
Mix the ingredients well. Let it rest for a few hours and it’s done.
How to eat chia seeds 3
servings Oats (a.k.a. oat flakes, rolled oats, oats for oatmeal) 250ml (about 1 cup of oatmeal)
Milk (soy milk, nut milk, etc.) 250ml
Yogurt about 125ml 2 tablespoons
chia seeds 2 tablespoons
honey (Amount of your choice)
Optional fruit topping
[How to make]
1) Mix all the ingredients. The oats are already steamed, so you can mix them as is. If you add too much, it will be a little watery, but it is OK to mix the fruit the night before. Refrigerate overnight and it’s done. It is a taste that both children and adults can enjoy.
*According to the website of the National Institute of Health and Nutrition, people with allergies to sesame and Japanese mustard should be careful.