One of Chia’s most interesting properties is its ability to form a gel when allowed to soak in water for about 30 minutes. It has been suggested that this also occurs in the stomach, which would slow the breakdown of carbohydrates, resulting in the sustained energy boost so admired by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans!
Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Their high content of antioxidants is what makes them so immune to deterioration. They provide fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molyndenum, niacin and zinc. And best of all, they don’t have to be ground or heated in order to make these nutrients available to the body. They can be added to snack mixes like granola or trail mixes to be enjoyed while out on any trekking or camping adventure, or for a quick afternoon pick-me-up at the office!
Studies suggest that Chia could contribute to healthy weight loss, due to its high protein content. 100 g of chia provides 40 g of dietary fiber, which is the equivalent of 100% of the daily recommendation for adults. This fiber content is higher than quinoa, flaxseed and amaranth, as well as almonds and peanuts. Chia is also rich in iron, possessing 6 times more iron per 100 grams of edible portion than spinach! Salmon has long been a resource for omega 3, but in recent years we’ve become increasingly worried about heavy metals. Chia is a perfect alternative, containing 8 times more omega 3 than salmon, and completely free of such concerns about mercury.