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Chia seeds are harvested from the Salvia hispanica plant and are grown commercially throughout Latin and South America. They were a staple of the ancient Aztec diet. The seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and have versatile uses in the kitchen. The seeds can be eaten raw or mixed with other liquids or foods.
They are said by many in the health food community to be a “superfood”, based on the many vitamins and minerals they contain, as well as their perceived health benefits.
What are the Benefits of chia seeds?
Chia seeds are very high in protein, calcium, and iron — three elements all humans need for optimal body and brain functions. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and high concentrations of disease-fighting antioxidants. Chia seeds contain almost no calories, and are completely fat-free. They are also high in fibre, which often helps people feel full and sated; that they also readily absorb water and expand in the stomach only amplifies this effect.
How do I eat Chia seeds? How do I prepare Chia Seeds?
The easiest way to eat chia seeds is to eat them raw, either on their own or mixed in with cereal, salads, or pasta dishes. They have a slight crunch to them, but are easy to chew and carry a slightly nutty flavour.
As with all seeds, Chia Seeds can be roasted or toasted to enhance their taste.
If you soak the seeds in water or other liquids will cause them to expand to nearly 10 times their original size.
Can I Sprout Chia seeds?
When left in a cool, moist environment, chia seeds will eventually sprout. These sprouts are also edible, and are popular additions to salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish to a number of noodle and soup dishes. The sprouts may be familiar to some as the green “fur” of the so-called “Chia Pet,” a collectible animal-shaped clay planter popular throughout much of North America.
Can Chia Seeds help with weight loss?
People who regularly eat chia seeds, or who blend the seeds in with their regular foods, often feel full faster — and often eat less as a result. In most cases, it is reduced calories overall that leads to weight loss.