A chia seed consists of 20% protein, 34% oil and 25% fiber. The high protein content in chia seeds is enough to provide the full daily requirement of protein. The chia seed is said to be the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and water soluble dietary fiber, supplements that we commonly add to our diets for their health benefits. Chia seeds are packed with vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin E and calcium. Huge health benefits come from the tiny chia seed.
If you try mixing a spoonful of chia in a glass of water and leaving it for approximately 30 minutes or so, when you return, the glass will appear to contain not seeds or water, but an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the chia. Researchers believe this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when food containing these gummy fibers, known as mucilages, are eaten. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes and diminishes the surges of highs and lows, creating a longer duration in their fueling effects.
One of the exceptional qualities of the chia seed is its hydrophilic properties, having the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water. Its ability to hold on to water offers the ability to prolong hydration. Fluids and electrolytes provide the environment that supports the life of all the body’s cells. Their concentration and composition are regulated to remain as constant as possible. With chia seeds, you retain moisture and regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids. Because there is a greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids, the electrolyte balance is maintained.
The Chia’s hydrophilic colloidal properties aid the digestion of any foods contributing to the patient’s suffering as a result of a sour stomach. Even if you have sensitivity to certain foods, they may be tolerated with slight discomfort or none at all if a hydrophilic colloid, such as chia seeds, is made a part of your diet. Even raw vegetables, green salads and fruits, which are largely restricted for some people, may often be given to these patients with little or no discomfort after a short time.
What makes the Chia Seed the super food that many claim it to be?
Chia seeds can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 years since they never go rancid. And, since they are so small, they are easy to carry with you wherever you go. Since they have very little taste, it makes them acceptable to even the most discriminating palate.