In order to receive the different benefits of chia seeds or stay away from the different side effects and advantages that they might cause for the body, it is important to first understand this seed, know from where it originally comes, and what it could be used for. Chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds, are all famous for their effective results carried on heart health, skin, hair, and the overall body, but people look more into their nutrients and minerals and the advantages of them more than they try to come closer to their histories and learn more about their existence. Chia plant appeared long time ago and was used for different things, but till now they are still considered crucial for the same uses.
Where Do Chia Seeds Come From?
There is an interesting history behind this type of seed; not everyone knows that chia is the same plant known as salvia hispanica, and this opens up different other secrets about chia that people will feel flabbergasted by knowing. Chia seed – or salvia hispanica – is a flower plant coming from the mint family recognized as Lamiaceae, which is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Back in the 16th century, chia seeds were cultivated and valued by the Aztecs, who used it for several reasons including using it as a medicine, as a source of energy, as well as a healthy addition to their foods and drinks. In the Mayan language, chia means “strength” and this is the reason behind them referring to these seeds as chia since the famous old Mexican tribe that is known as Tarahumara, which was famous for its runners, used to drink the chia Iskiate in order to gain more energy and run for longer distances.
The chia Iskiate, which is now more famously known as chia Fresca, is a drink that combines water, lemon or lime juice, and chia seeds together.
How Long Do Chia Seeds Last in Water?
One of the famous useful and healthy nutrients found in chia seeds, and one that delivers many benefits as well such as helping in controlling the body weight, is fiber. Both the soluble and the insoluble fibers that are found in chia seeds make it hydrophilic, which means that it can absorb 10 times its weight in water. When chia seeds are placed in any liquid, it absorbs its water and turns into a gel-like substance.
The question here is how long these seeds could last in water? Chia seeds could be added in water for different reasons; it could be consumed or eaten right away in the form of that gel and it could be also added to other ingredients to increase their consistency with its volume, which means that soaking it in water is just one of the different things that chia seeds could be used in.
The antioxidants found in chia seeds help them from going rancid generally when it comes to the shelf life, but soaking these seeds in water in order to store them in the refrigerator will only give them life for two or three weeks maximum, and if this gel will be used in pantry right away then it will last for two hours only.
It is important to watch out for the expiry date and keep in mind the date that you have turned your seeds into gel in order to decide whether it is too late for you to eat them when you come back or else considered okay to be eaten and consumed.
How Much Chia Seeds a Day to Lose Weight?
Chia seeds carry different benefits for the body as well as the different side effects that they also have. One of these benefits is its ability to help in weight loss due to the fiber that it carries. Fiber is one of the nutrients that will help the person feel full for a longer period of time without the need to eat anything, with small portions that will deliver little amount of calories as well. When the person does not feel hungry, he/she will not be eating all the time or snacking the whole day and thus will help himself/herself in maintaining his/her weight and getting rid of the excess pounds.
The proportion of chia seed taken per day should be always watched, because the benefits could turn into side effect just by taking more than the recommended daily amount. The amount that the person will need to consume will depend on the nutrient that he/she wants to increase. For example, those who consume 15 to 20 grams will fulfill their daily requirement of omega-3s. It is always important to check back with your doctor, but the recommended amounts suggested here will depend on the age:
- Adults are allowed to consume 15 to 20 grams.
- Those who are between the ages 10 and 18 can consume about 10 grams.
- Children who are younger than 10 years should not consume more than one tablespoon of chia seeds.
Can Kids Have Chia Seeds?
When doctors or nutritionists start giving advises for people about eating chia seeds, they inform them with the different side effects that could be delivered along the way, and among these advises, some of them tell pregnant women as well as those breastfeeding to check back first with their doctors. Although there are conflicts regarding pregnant women due to the effects that might be carried on their kids, chia carries some benefits for the health of the infant especially when it comes to the development of the brain.
But when it comes to kids, parents should understand that the body of an adult person will deal with chia seeds in a different way than the body of the kid, and the kids do not need anything like chia seeds. Kids will not process chia in the same way, which means that they will not receive the same benefits from them especially if they are receiving healthy diet high in fiber like fruits and vegetables. The best way possible for these kids or babies to get the benefits of chia seeds is by the mother eating them and then sending them over through breastfeeding.
The more your kid gets older, the more it is possible for him/her to eat chia seeds but with very small amounts.
Can You Eat Chia Seeds Raw?
Flax seeds should be always eaten in their ground forms because otherwise, the body will not be able to consume or digest them and they will leave no benefits behind; just going out as they are from the body. But unlike flax seeds, chia could be eaten in all its different forms; it could be eaten whole and could be also used as ground, and still deliver all the different benefits to the body.
Yes, chia seeds could be eaten in their raw forms; they could be sprinkled over different cooked recipes and could be even sprinkled over some breakfast dishes. The ground chia seeds are considered a great addition when it comes to the flour that is used in the different baking recipes; they could be used in making cookies, cakes, and even bread.
Can You Take Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds Together?
Both chia and flax seeds are superfoods that carry almost the same nutrients and minerals and deliver the same benefits to the body. Both flax seeds and chia seeds carry protein; one ounce of chia seeds carry 4.4 grams of vegetarian protein, while one ounce of flax seeds carry 5.1 grams, but chia seeds are considered better for their protein because it carries a good balance of the essential amino acids.
Both seeds also carry the omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid (ALA) with 4.7 grams found in one ounce of flax seeds and 5 grams in chia. Antioxidants are found in chia, which helps in preventing it from going rancid, while flax seeds on the other hand might lose its nutrients and go rancid if it is not stored correctly. And both also carry fiber but chia seeds carry a little bit more of it.
Choosing one seed over the other might make you more attracted to chia due to its different benefits, but flax seeds also carry other nutritional benefits than chia, so adding them together in a healthy diet will be considered possible and better; so yes, both could be taken together without any problems.
What Do You Eat Chia Seeds With?
There are different ways to add chia seeds to your meals, but the best way to eat chia seeds is when you transform the seeds into a gel-like form, when they are used in making a homemade pudding by combining a half cup of chia seeds to milk and vanilla, as well as sweetener of choice. It could be also used in making chia tea which is considered a recipe that goes well with both hot and cold forms and is good for cold and hot weathers as well.
Chia seeds are also used in baking recipes by being added to the flour used in baking without changing anything about the taste while delivering different important benefits to the body as well. It could be used with salads and it could be transformed into crackers by adding chia to coconut milk, sea salt, and garlic powder then baking it at low temperature for few hours until it becomes solid.
The best thing about chia seeds is that they are tasteless; they have nutty, wild taste that never takes over any recipe it is added to. When you add chia seed to any food or any recipe you are cooking, or even adding it to a drink, you will gain some benefits but your drink will still carry the taste of the dominant ingredient found in it and chia seeds will most probably be undistinguishable.
There are different questions asked about chia seeds, their origin, and the different benefits, side effects, and uses that they have. Answering few of these questions makes us eager to tell you that knowing more about chia seeds and understanding the different nutrients they carry, will make you more able to know when to use it and when to use any other type of seed.