Chia is also known as- Salvia hispanica, California Chia, California Sage, Chia Pet Seed, and Chia Sage.
Most of us do not realize that Chia seed is highly nutritious, has great medicinal properties, and it has been used for centuries in the Incan, Mayan, and Aztec cultures for its beneficial properties. In Mayan “chia” is the word for “strength”, and is also referred to as “Indian Running Food” because its energizing capability. It builds endurance because it steadily releases slow-burning glucose into the bloodstream.
Another exceptional quality of the Chia seed is its hydrophilic properties. It has the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water, providing prolong hydration and anti-inflammatory effect. When you eat chia seeds the body fluids are more efficiently utilized and the electrolyte balance is well-maintained.
The powerful antioxidants found in chia seeds, together with the hydration property help in reducing inflammation and stabilize tissues affected by allergens. People suffering from cystic fibrosis and respiratory allergies may consider introducing chia seeds in their diet due to its mucin hydration effect on the thick and sticky secretions, anti allergic properties and digestive benefits.
Chia Seed helps to reduce blood glucose swings and provides support in hypoglycemia and diabetes.
As a source of protein, Chia seeds have more digestible protein compared with beans, peas or soy and it is digested and absorbed easily. Because of efficient assimilation, Chia seeds are very effective during periods of rapid growth in children and adolescents or in regeneration of tissue during pregnancy, lactation, muscle tissue for athletes, etc.
Chia seeds are also recommended in people with gluten sensitivity, carbohydrate intolerance, Celiac Disease, hypoglycemia or Crohn’s Disease, because chia protein contains no gluten. Chia seed is a great super-food for all people suffering from food allergies or food sensitivities.For weight loss, Chia seeds are also an appetite suppressant but having energizing capability.
In Central America and Mexico, chia seeds are mixed in water with lemon or lime juice and brown cane sugar to make a delicious, nutritious beverage known as “chia fresca”. The seeds can be mixed into cereals, yogourt, salads, baked goods or they can be eaten plain. They have a nutty flavor, and can be mixed ground or whole.