The origin of chia seed, which is the most important food source of the Aztecs with its rich protein, oil and fiber content, is the seeds of a sage species (Salvia hispanica) that grows in the lands of Mexico and Guetemala. It contains the highest proportion of omega-3 fatty acids of all herbs, including flax seeds.
Chia seeds are so beneficial because they are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is a useful source of plant protein and provides a range of amino acids specifically for vegetarian and vegan diets. Due to its structure consisting of fat, protein and fiber, it is digested slowly. It means it provides a long and slow release of energy to keep blood sugar levels stable.
When the polysaccharide structure in the outer shell of the chia seed combines with water, it creates mucilage. In fact, this structure is to protect the seed and gives us that familiar gelling property of chia seeds. Its gelling and swelling feature is a good advantage for those who are on a diet and want to experience a better feeling of satiety. Milk and dairy products with chia can be a good alternative, especially during some hours of hunger during the day.
Thanks to its gelling feature, chia can be added to dairy products or fruit puree and practical puddings that do not require cooking can be made. These types of puddings can create a gluten-free dairy dessert alternative, especially for individuals with celiac disease, thanks to the fact that chia does not contain gluten.
Nutrıtıonal Propertıes Of Chıa Seed
The amount of carbohydrate in 100 grams of chia seeds is 42.1 grams, the amount of protein is 16.5 grams, and the amount of fat is 30.7 grams. 100 grams of chia seeds give an average of 486 kcal of energy.
Chia seeds are rich in essential fatty acids alpha linolenic acid, some vitamins (vitamin B3-niacin, vitamin A), some minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium) and dietary fiber. In addition, chia extract is a powerful source of antioxidants, with a total phenolic content of 8.8% in dry matter.
Its health-protective effects, antioxidant power, rich nutrient content and fatty acids play a major role in the acceptance of chia seeds as a popular functional food. Apart from this, chia seeds do not contain gluten and therefore are a food that celiac patients can easily consume.
Content Of 100 Grams Of Chıa Seeds
- Energy: 486 calories
- Carbohydrate: 42.12 g
- Dietary pulp: 34.4 g
- Fat: 30.74 g
- Protein 16.54 g
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) (54%) 0.62mg
- Niacin (59%) 8.83mg
- Calcium (63%) 631 mg
- Iron (59%) 7.72mg
- Magnesium (94%) 335 mg
- Phosphorus (123%) 860 mg
- Zinc (48%)
Does Chıa Seed Weaken?
Chia seeds can support weight loss thanks to their high fiber and protein content. Some studies show that consumption of chia seeds increases satiety. However, some studies show that it has no effect on body weight. Of course, chia seeds are not a miracle food for weight loss. Losing weight is a situation that can be achieved with diet and lifestyle changes.
However, thanks to the fiber content of chia seeds, it provides a feeling of satiety and supports the regular functioning of our intestines, making it usable with expert control in weight loss.
It is useful to remember that too much of everything is harmful. It will be sufficient to consume a maximum of two tablespoons of chia seeds per day. Two tablespoons of chia seeds are around 137 kcal, and the amount of consumption in diet programs varies from person to person.
Effects Of Chıa Seeds On Health
Effect on Appetite and Satiety
In recent years, with the increase of obesity and obesity-related diseases, research on nutritional strategies aimed at preventing excessive energy intake has increased. Because drug treatments are also ineffective, or show adverse side effects, the focus of scientists has turned to natural dietary ingredients that have a potential impact on appetite and satiety.
Various studies have reported that specific foods with higher fiber content can increase satiety and reduce food intake.
There are no major scientific studies to support that eating chia seeds directly contributes to weight loss. However, thanks to its high fiber and protein content and at the same time, it contributes to long-lasting satiety with its ability to hold water. This is linked to the fact that you eat less food and eat fewer calories. However, it should be kept in mind that chia seeds or any other nutrients will not have a direct effect on losing weight.
Thanks to its gelling structure, chia expands after it enters the stomach and allows you to feel satiety for a longer period of time. This suggests that it can help reduce hunger and suppress appetite.
Adding chia seeds to your daily diet can be a healthy and delicious way to get rid of stubborn weights. Chia, which is also a vegetable source of protein, is a great alternative for those who want to burn fat, protect muscles, and manage appetite and hunger crises.
Scientific research shows that increasing the amount of daily protein intake can support weight loss by reducing food cravings and calorie intake. Frequently consuming a good source of vegetable protein such as chia seeds; It can also reduce the levels of “ghrelin hormone”, also known as the hunger hormone.
Effect on Cardiovascular Health
Chia seed can show a preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases thanks to its fiber and vegetable oil. Chia seeds are rich in ALA as a vegetable oil source.
Increased intake of saturated fatty acids and decreased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Chia seeds contain significant amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Chia, one of the best herbal sources of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health by affecting blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
In a study investigating the positive effect of chia seeds on blood pressure, type 2 diabetic individuals consumed 37 grams of ground chia seeds and oat bran daily, and a decrease in systolic blood pressure was observed in those who consumed chia seeds at the end of 12 weeks.
In another study; For 12 weeks, hypertensive individuals consumed 35 grams of chia flour daily and their blood pressure decreased.
However, eating a diet with sufficient fiber content can reduce blood lipids, especially bad cholesterol (LDL). It is thought that the balance of cholesterol level and other blood lipids is important for cardiovascular health.
It should not be forgotten that although chia seeds can be seen as a beneficial nutrient for cardiovascular health, healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes are essential for a holistic health.
Effect on the Digestive System
28 grams of chia seeds contain 11 grams of fiber. Its content is fiber, which we call insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve and is removed from the body without any changes. It adds volume to the stool and is effective in reducing constipation. The amount of fiber that men should take daily is 38 grams and the amount of fiber that women should take daily is 25 grams. Adequate fiber intake facilitates bowel movements and can help prevent the development of diseases such as hemorrhoids.
The high pulp content of chia seeds also leads to a low glycemic index. This means it can support blood sugar control. Chia seeds mostly contain insoluble pulp. Two tablespoons of chia seeds meet 1/3 of the daily pulp requirement.
Chia seeds are thought to be beneficial for our intestinal health, as they are rich in fiber.
The soluble and insoluble fiber in chia seeds can increase nutrient absorption, reduce cholesterol, and aid bowel movement, which can help prevent constipation, which will increase your overall health.
Since chia seeds support your digestive health, they help you get rid of toxins naturally. Their anti-inflammatory properties allow them to prevent and repair damage occurring at the cellular level.
How To Use Chıa Seeds?
It has been suggested that the daily consumption of chia seeds should not exceed 48 grams. If you are allergic to one or more of mustard, sesame or thyme, there is a possibility that you are allergic to chia seeds as well. If you are going to consume it for the first time, it is useful to consume it in a controlled manner and little by little.
One of the most curious topics about chia seeds is the question of how to use chia seeds. Chia seeds can be added to any food or drink. It can most often be sprinkled with cereal, sauces, vegetables, yogurt or mixed with drinks. It can also be mixed with water and used in gel form. Puddings, soups and drinks made in this way can be prepared.
Although chia seed has become a popular product in recent years, it is a type of plant seed that has been consumed for many years. Chia seeds, which have an appearance in the form of black small dots, are predominantly preferred in the form of pudding. Instead of consuming sweet snacks, you can consume Chia pudding and satisfy your dessert needs in this way.
Another answer to how to use chia seeds is to keep them in liquid. You can consume the seeds in a healthy and delicious way by soaking them in milk, yogurt or water.
As another method, you can try to consume the seeds raw. There is no harm in consuming this seed raw, which you can use by sprinkling it on your salads and desserts. Another suggestion for the use of chia seeds is to grind the seed into powder. You can consume the powdered seeds as tea, add them to meat dishes or add them to bread dough.
Conclusıon And Recommendatıons About Chıa Seed
Chia, with its high fiber content, helps in the regulation of bowel movements. Therefore, constipation can be prevented.
In addition, high fiber content may have positive effects on insulin resistance and regulation of blood glucose values.
It helps to lose weight due to its satiating feature.
Since it does not contain gluten, it can be used in individuals with celiac or gluten intolerance.
Daily consumption of chia for adults should not exceed 48 grams (about 4 tablespoons). Excessive consumption may cause problems such as gas or indigestion, as well as allergic reactions.
Adding chia seeds to the diet can increase the levels of omega-3 fatty acids and pulp, thereby providing a health-promoting effect.