Chia seeds, also known as (Sabja Beej) in Hindi, are small edible seeds that come from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. These seeds have gained popularity worldwide due to their numerous health benefits and nutritional value. In recent years, chia seeds have been recognized as a superfood and have become a staple in many people’s diets.
Chia seeds have a rich history and were a significant part of ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations. In fact, the word “chia” itself means “strength” in the Mayan language. These seeds were highly valued for their energy-boosting properties and were even used as currency in some regions.
One of the key reasons for the popularity of chia seeds is their exceptional nutritional profile. Despite their small size, chia seeds are packed with essential nutrients. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. This makes them particularly beneficial for vegetarians and vegans who may struggle to meet their protein requirements.
Chia seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health. They are a great source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, promotes satiety, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Additionally, chia seeds are abundant in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
When chia seeds are soaked in liquid, they develop a gel-like coating due to their high fiber content. This gel-forming property makes chia seeds a versatile ingredient in various recipes. They can be added to smoothies, yogurts, puddings, and baked goods, or used as an egg substitute in vegan baking. The gel-like texture also helps to keep you hydrated as the seeds retain moisture and release it slowly, providing a sustained source of hydration.