Why is chia considered a superfood?
In recent months, chia seed has become very popular in Latin American countries and the United States. Chia is a true miracle product. And not precisely because it helps you lose kilos, but because it is a superfood.
Chia has the ability to trap 12 times its volume in water; hence it produces a feeling of satiety. To take advantage of its benefits at the digestive level, it is important to mix it with liquids. The seed will be covered with a layer of gel (mucilage) that helps improve digestion, metabolize cholesterol and maintain the balance of bacteria in our body.
One of the nutritional pillars of chia is its high content of fatty acids, particularly omega 3 and omega 6. These substances give flexibility and permeability to cell membranes, facilitating optimal transport of nutrients. Fatty acids are essential to prevent the onset of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer or diabetes.
Of the 100% of the nutrients that we require per day, 6% should be fatty acids. However, with current eating habits, sometimes we do not even reach 0.5%, hence chia is an excellent option to alleviate this deficiency.
The best known sources of fatty acids are seaweed and fish oil. Seaweed is not part of our daily diet. On the other hand, fish high in omegas should be eaten moderately, as they contain cholesterol. Chia, on the other hand, has three advantages: it is of plant origin, it does not contain cholesterol and it is easy to consume. In the case of chia seeds, only one teaspoon a day is needed, since the concentration of fatty acids is much higher than in other products.
Like other small seeds, such as quinoa or amaranth, chia provides a large amount of energy, hydration, vitamins and antioxidants, is a source of fiber and protein, in addition to being recognized medicinal and cosmetic uses.
Chia can be placed next to grapes and blackberries, foods that have antioxidants called flavonoids. The oxidation of the body produces free radicals that, when they accumulate, inflame organs and tissues. This inflammation, in addition to causing premature aging, can lead to tumors, cancer and cardiovascular conditions. Flavonoids inhibit the growth of cancer cells, tone the heart, have antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties, protect the gastric mucosa, and neutralize free radicals from oxidation.
In summary, chia seeds are considered a superfood because:
- They have 5 times more calcium than milk.
- They have 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries.
- Triple the amount of iron in spinach.
- Contain twice the fiber of oats.
- They have more than twice the protein of any vegetable.
- And more potassium than bananas.
- In addition, chia seeds contain magnesium, omega 6, vitamin E, vitamin A and several vitamins of the B complex, such as B1, B2, B3 and B6.