Chia Seeds – General Information

The European Food Safety Authority first permitted the introduction of chia seeds in 2014 and its popularity in Switzerland has grown steadily since. The trend first started in the USA, where chia seeds have enjoyed great popularity thanks to their health benefits for a few years now. They are derived from the Salvia hispanica plant, a herbaceous sage plant, which served as a valuable source of nutrients to the Aztecs. In the following centuries the plant was replaced by others as a source of nutrients and almost forgotten, but now the seeds are once again taking centre stage.

 

Food Facts Food Facts

Chia Seeds

Class

Salvia

Calories

486 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

42g carbohydrates, 34g fibre, 0.1g fat, 17g protein per 100 g

Season

available year-round in organic supermarkets, health food shops and online

Storage

store in a dark, dry and cool place, ideally between 18°C and 22°C room temperature

Shelf life

almost unlimited if stored correctly

Chia Seeds – The Product of a Mexican Sage Plant

Grown mainly in Mexico and Guatemala, the Salvia hispanica has 4 to 8cm long leaves with blue, white or purple flowers. The oval seeds have a diameter of only 1 to 2 mm. Despite their miniature size, chia seeds can absorb 9 to 12 times their body weight in fluids in a short space of time, turning them into a gel-like texture, which is even easier to digest than the raw seeds. Vegans commonly use this gel as a substitute for eggs in baking.

Chia Seeds – A Tasty Pudding

Chia pudding is one of the most popular chia seed recipes. To make it, leave roughly three tablespoons of chia seeds to soak in 250mm animal or plant milk in the fridge, making sure to stir the mixture well to avoid any lumps. With the addition of oats, fruit like kiwi, or spices this pudding can easily be turned into a healthy breakfast or even dessert. For a hint of sweetness, add honey, maple syrup or agave nectar. Chia seeds can also be used in baked goods, muesli, and yogurt or as a topping for soup.

Chia Seeds – Nutritional Value and Content

The small seeds contain an incredible amount of nutritional value for their small size. They are a great source of amino acids, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are essential for metabolic processes and the body is unable to synthesise them itself. Chia seeds contain countless vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. For example, they contain plenty of vitamin A, which is vital for healthy eyes, as well as folic acid, which is important for pregnant women. The small powerhouse also contains zinc and niacin for good skin, calcium for strong bones and magnesium for powerful muscles.

Chia Seeds – Vegan Nutrition Wonders

Due to their high fibre content, chia seeds are dietary miracles. Although you won’t lose weight simply by consuming them, they do perform an important function in any diet. Through their high fibre content they keep you feeling full and also ensure that carbohydrates are burnt more slowly, which prevents you from feeling hungry quickly.

Chia seeds are vegan and gluten free, making them a valuable fibre source for people with a gluten intolerance. However, chia seeds should be enjoyed in moderation: more than 15g of the seeds per day is not recommended due to their high carbohydrate content, especially if you are on a diet. If you are consuming dry chia seeds make sure you are also drinking enough water, because the seeds swell in your bowel and can absorb fluids.

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Chia Seed Recipes

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