Chia seed was the first product sold by Matakana Superfoods when we began five years ago.
Originally grown in the central Mexican valleys and Guatemala, Chia formed part of the staple diet of the Aztecs.
The best quality Chia seed comes from its native habitat in the fertile plains of Central and South America where it is grown traditionally without the use of pesticides. It is safe to say Chia is one of the most nutrient-dense foods known to man.
10 Health Benefits of this Superfood:
1. Supports Heart Health
Chia seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6). As EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies it is very important that we get enough from our diet to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in the developed world.
2. Stabilizes Energy Levels
Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fibre helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy.
The word "Chia" comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a natural balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre. Ancient Mayan folklaw said that one mouthful of Chia could sustain a warrior for 24 hours. Athletes, including the famous barefoot marathon runners of Mexico, have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.
4. Supports Circulation
Some research indicates Chia seeds may help with circulation; this is thought to be attributed to the high concentration of Omega-3 and Omega-6, which naturally occurs in a ratio which is beneficial for the circulatory and musculoskeletal systems.
5. Weight Maintenance
The Essential Fatty Acids contained in Chia seeds help to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight maintenance.
6. Detoxification and Elimination
Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
7. High Quality Protein
Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants, containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the Omega-3 oils from going rancid - contributing to a long shelf life - up to 36 months following harvest if the seeds are kept dry at room temperature.
9. Provides Fibre and Other Nutrients
Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fibre, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Two tablespoons of Chia equates to: 7 grams of fibre, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium and 5 grams of Omega-3.
10. Brain Power
EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient, making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function - including memory and concentration.
So how do I use this magic seed?
- Add 1-3 teaspoons of Chia to your favourite smoothie.
- Sprinkle over your muesli, stir through your porridge or add to a bircher muesli and leave to soak overnight - it will give it a lovely creamy texture.
- Make a nourishing Chia Pudding. Mix two to three tablespoons chia seeds into one cup of your favourite milk (coconut and almond are some of our favourites), along with a few teaspoons of coconut sugar and vanilla extract. If you love chocolate include two tablespoons of raw cacao powder. Then cover and place the pudding in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. Delicious served with fresh fruit.
- For vegan or cholesterol-free baking, use Chia seeds to replace the eggs in your baking. For one egg replacement simply mix 1 tablespoon of Chia with 3 tablespoons of water and leave the mixture for five minutes, until it forms a gel. Mix into your baking for any recipe where eggs are called for.