Salvia hispanica L.
black & white
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Chia, also known as Hispanic sage, is a cereal crop of Mexican and Central American origin dating from pre-Hispanic times. Given its importance to the ancient Mexicans, chia was the third most important food, only surpassed in popularity and consumption by corn and beans.
Chia seed holds a nutritional composition: 20% vegetable protein, 25% soluble fiber and 40% oil, among other nutrients. In the case of oil, 64% of it is made up of essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6, both known to help improve our metabolism, while simultaneously keeping at bay our cholesterol and triglycerides and protecting our hearts. Also, chia seed is rich in B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and zinc, and contains very little sodium.
Preliminary Health Research
Besides being high in protein, chia is easily digested and assimilated, which ensures that it is easily absorbed by the body, using the protein and other nutrients in different tissues and cells of our body. Moreover, the water and methanol which it also contains give antioxidant properties useful to prevent cellular oxidation and various diseases due to its anti-inflammatory effect.
As mentioned, chia is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6. In fact, this power plant has the highest concentration of them. Thanks to its high content of soluble fiber, consuming chia seeds facilitates intestinal regularity as a they are a natural laxative, which confers certain properties as protector of diseases such as diverticulosis, constipation and, ultimately, cancer of the colon. As if that were not enough, chia has no gluten, so it is a food suitable for celiacs.
Unlike other foods rich in omega-3 and -6, chia seeds can be stored in our pantry for a long time without diminishing its aroma, taste, or nutritional value.
Chia seeds are an important natural source of omega-3, the most important effect is to increase good cholesterol and lower bad. It also prevents the formation of clots and plaques in the arteries, thus preventing cardiovascular disease. It has no gluten, which makes it an excellent alternative for celiacs and is highly recommended for vegetarians for its protein, thereby providing all essential amino acids.
The byproducts of chia offer a wide range of uses: