Have you ever wondered what chia seeds are or why they’re regarded as a “Super Seed”? Although they are small in size, chia seeds are packed with nutrients. These seeds have long been hailed for their health benefits. They were a staple of the ancient diets of the Aztecs and Mayas.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are the small black edible seeds of the flowering plant named Salvia Hispanic, which is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). These seeds have an oval shape and are small, flat, and shiny with a smooth surface. They can be white, brown, or black in color.
When soaked, the hygroscopic seeds can absorb up to twelve times their weight in liquid. When wet they form a mucus-like outer layer that gives chia-based dishes and beverages a unique gel-like texture.
How Are Chia Seeds Used?
These seeds are quite versatile. They can be pre-soaked and used in porridge, drinks, or puddings. Dry chia seeds can be added (ground or whole) into baked items and smoothies. They add a unique texture when sprinkled over salads or yogurt.
Because of their gel-forming properties, they can also be used to substitute eggs in recipes or to thicken sauces.
What Are The Health Benefits of Chia Seed?
Chia seeds are an outstanding source of minerals and potent antioxidants. These nutrients are associated with a number of important health benefits, such as a decrease in free radicals, a rise in blood omega-3 levels, a reduction in blood pressure, better heart health, and improved blood sugar regulation.
Because of Chia seeds’ exceptional water-absorbing capacity, they increase their volume in the stomach. This results in a greater feeling of fullness that lowers overall food intake and helps in controlling weight.
What Makes Chia Seeds An Anticancer Food?
Chia seeds are a proven anti-cancer superfood. In the laboratory, they are known for killing cancerous cells without damaging healthy cells.
The high antioxidant content of chia seeds protects human health by eliminating reactive molecules known as free radicals. If allowed to build up in the body, free radicals damage cells. Many cancers can be traced to free radical damage.
The particular antioxidants present in chia seeds are myricetin, kaempferol, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid.
Studies have demonstrated that Chia seeds inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
According to one study, chia seed-derived peptides with low molecular weight could be used as adjuvant therapy for the treatment of cancer.