chia seeds, tiny titans, salvia hispanica l, featured image

Chia Seeds – the Super-healthy Tiny Titans

If I told you that you can cycle like crazy for an hour by drinking only one glass of water, would you believe me?

I wouldn’t believe myself either.

But if that glass is not only filled with water but there are also some tiny chia seeds inside?

Oh, that would make an enormous difference!

Origins and Peculiar Information about the Potent Chia Seeds

“Chia” is stemming from the Nahuatl word “chian”, which means oily.

Two plants are known as “chia” – Salvia columbariae, revered also as “golden chia”, and Salvia hispanica or simply “chia”.

Characterised by opposite leaves, chia can be defined as tall, annual herb, which reaches up to 1.75 m (5.7 ft) in height. Chia seeds’ flowers are white or purple and come in numerous clusters that are united in a spike at each stem’s end.

Finding its titanic origins in central and southern America, the chia seeds are broadly consumed owing to the various health benefits.

Chia seeds nestle their tiny presence in the category of “Superfoods”. Literally meaning “strength”, they are most frequently consumed in the form of seeds, which can be combined with almost kind of nourishment – food, drink, smoothie, juice, etc.

The Ancient History of the Tiny Titans

This superfood was made use of by some of the most antique cultures and civilisations worldwide as a splendid energy supplier. The Mayan heralds and ambassadors used to always bring a bagful of chia seeds with them throughout their lengthy and wearisome trips.

The tiny titans would replenish Maya people’s powerful bodies with fresh energy and aid them in recovering much quicker, performing much huger quantities of physical activities. Mapping out this superfood’s usage back in time, we discover that ancient civilisations observed visible outcomes and enhancements in people’s fortitude, stamina, and overall endurance while consuming chia seeds.

Mexican people claim that 1 spoonful of chia seeds is capable of charging an average person with energy for 24 hours.

chia seeds, tiny titans, plate, salvia hispanica
The titans, resting on a plate.

Despite the fact that people in the past were hindered to explain why these petite titans are so unique, the ancient Maya persisted on using them and continued witnessing the improvements associated with their overall physical conditions.

Chia Seeds’ Dirty yet Powerful Secret

Nowadays, nonetheless, we are already capable of dismembering the seeds under a microscope and placing them under a set of laboratory experiments to find out the “dirty” secret behind their miraculous body effects.

Are you ready?

chia seeds, soaked, tiny titans, salvia hispanica
Soaked seeds of Salvia hispanica L. They absorb unbelievable amounts of water.

Chia seeds’ dirty little secret lies in the fact that they are unbelievably hygroscopic. This adjective means that not only the seeds soak up to 12 times more water than their actual size, but also they hold the water for a really long time. This fact prolongs the body’s hydration and keeps and protects the electrolytes within the organism. And not being well-hydrated counts as one of the most common causes of loss of energy and fatigue.

This really distinctive characteristic of the tiny titans makes them incredibly beneficial for individuals who love putting their bodies through highly intensive training programmes regularly.

Athletes and professional sportsmen are not the only people who can derive great advantage of the numerous benefits of these petite titans.

The Spectacular Nutritional Profile of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are revered in the health community for their wealth of fibre, proteins, essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), minerals, and vitamins.

  • Dietary fibre (11g or 42% of the recommended daily value (RDV)).
  • Proteins (4.4g or 9% of RDV).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (4,915 mg).
  • Omega-6 fatty acids (1,620 mg).
  • Zinc (1.0 mg or 7% of RDV).
  • Potassium (44.8 mg or 1% of RDV).
  • Calcium (77 mg or 18% of RDV).
  • Phosphorus (265 mg or 27% of RDV).
  • Copper (0.1 mg or 3% of RDV) – (source).

The Tiny Titans are also comprised of other essential fatty acids (such as alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid), strontium, mucin, Vitamins A, B, D, and E, and various minerals (iodine, iron, sulphur, magnesium, manganese, niacin, and thiamine) – which are an abundant source of antioxidants.

Amazing Health Benefits of the Tiny Titans

  1. Being extremely abundant in dietary fibre, chia is a digestive health sorceress. This helps the seeds promote healthy stool and bowel regularity. The wealthy amounts of fibre also help people feel fuller quickly since chia absorbs enormous amounts of water, instantaneously expanding in the stomach, curbing hunger, and suppressing appetite. This can also result in weight loss.
  2. The petite seeds are magicians when it comes to reversing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and regulating cholesterol, which makes them incredibly beneficial for heart health. In fact, the seeds boast more Omega-3 than salmon and it is this essential fatty acid that is the main building block which ferociously combats bad cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and fights against inflammation.
  3. Chia seeds possess copious quantities of antioxidants, which engage into a fight with the free radicals in our bodies that cause most illnesses. Furthermore, antioxidants accelerate the repair systems of the skin and completely thwart further damage.
  4. Owing to the plentiful amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and fibres, the tiny titans battle against insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia (excessive fat in the blood) – both of which are important factors in diabetes development. In other words, Salvia hispanica halts diabetes and even reverses it.
  5. Chia’s calcium concentration (18% of RDV) is a fundamental factor when it comes to bone’s health, mass, and strength. In addition, the seeds are also rich in boron, which is vital for bone health.
  6. Ranking amid the crème-de-la-crème of plant-based protein sources is another reason why chia seeds are revered as a superfood. This, together with the fact that they pack a potent antioxidant punch to aid in replacing some of the lost nutrients during exercising and the fact it may absorb up to 12X its own weight in water, makes chia seeds a powerful source for building muscles and losing weight.
  7. The minuscule seeds teem with calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and Vitamin A, which makes them a wondrous food for one’s teeth since calcium is the foundation of healthy teeth. Additionally, zinc not only averts tarter by stopping plaque from mineralising onto the teeth but also possesses an antibacterial effect. Phosphorus and Vitamin A are also important when it comes to a healthy mouth and strong teeth.
  8. Chia seeds are marvellous metabolism and energy boosters. This is mainly due to chia’s hygroscopic (absorbing 12X its weight in water) properties that not only send our energy into outer space but also keep us satiated for long.

Essential Tips for Consuming the Tiny Titans

In regards to 6) and 8) from the health benefits, it is imperative that you either:

  • Soak the titans in water or any other liquid (yoghurt also works miracles, too) for at least 15-20 minutes.
  • {in the case you consume them dry} Drink liquids so that the seeds expand in the stomach and make us full, healthy, and satiated.

I personally soak them in advance (see image below) and add them to my powerful smoothie. I also add the seeds to a tarator – a cold yoghurt-based soup, consumed in Bulgaria and elsewhere in the Balkans.

How do you satiate your hunger with the potent chia seeds? Do you have any preferred recipes?

Chia Seeds are one of the most potent superfoods out there. Their dirty little secret lies in their wondrous hygroscopic properties.

4 comments on “Chia Seeds – the Super-healthy Tiny Titans

  1. Absolute Wanderlust

    Wow, super informative post Svet! I recently bought a pack of Chia seeds, so it was great to read about how good they really are 🙂

    • Svet

      Thanks very much, Priti! These titans are really, really potent. One simply cannot ignore them 🙂 And they taste great and go well with almost anything!

  2. Hung Thai [Up Up and a Bear]

    We Vietnamese like to add this to our other desserts or on top of glutinous rice for maximum delicious consumptions.

    • Svet

      I have also tried it like that on a pumpkin and other desserts. On glutinous rice, I have never tried and I need to delve deeper in your suggestion! <3

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