Native mountains of Peru and the central valley of Mexico, the Chia is a annual herbaceous plant from the family of Lamiaceae (mint), cultivated for its medicinal properties, praised by Native Americans in pre-Columbian times.
Long ignored, health professionals today take a particular interest in chia seeds because of their high content of lipids (25 to 38%) with Omega 3, and beneficial for the health.
What are their therapeutic virtues? In which cases are they indicated?
Everything on the horizon ...
A little history about chia seeds
By its etymology, the word "chia" comes from "chiyan" designating the sage "salvia hispanica" and "nuhauatl" (derived from the Native American of Mexico).
According to some writings, the first cultivation of chia in the Valley of Mexico dates from between 2600 and 2000 BC.
From the 15th century, this agricultural activity developed among the aztecs who made it their staple food (after corn and beans), and approved their medicinal properties in the treatment of various infections. Calling them very energetic, they urged them to make one drink to their soldiers, oroil consecrated to their divinities.
It was in the 1990s that the chia plant (and its benefits) was rediscovered in Argentina and then its cultivation was revived in Peru, before starting to market it around the world.
Benefits and virtues of chia seeds
About 1 meter high, the chia is characterized by quadrangular stems, oval leaves covered with fine hairs and whitish, purple or white leaves and small elongated seeds, grayish or brown, shiny, smooth and grouped in four.
Rich in caffeic and chlorogenic acids, flavonols, flavonol glycosides, chia seeds are also rich in dietary fibers (30%), proteins (between 22 and 30%), but especially omega 3 (68%) and omega 6.
Antioxidant and true source of phosphorus, of manganese, of vitamins C and B9, of calcium and of minerals (copper, niacin, zinc, iron, potassium, sodium), chia sage seeds do not contain gluten. They are therefore effective in combating:
- skin aging
- the cholesterol,
- the constipation,
- the inflammations,
- cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes),
- disorders of sleep.
Like other therapeutic properties, chia seeds promote intestinal transit and relieve itching (pruritus) caused by dry skin due to kidney failure or diabetes.
Using chia seeds
Recommended in naturopathy for their protective effects on cardiovascular illnesses, the seeds of salvia hispanica should be eaten:
- They are added at the end of cooking to the meal in order to maintain the desired nutritional effects,
- dry (ground or crushed) to sprinkle recipes,
- sprouted (do it yourself). To do this, in a pot, cover with water, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. The next day, drain and replace the water. Repeat the operation as soon as the seedlings appear (ie every 2 days). After 15 days, the fine roots and seedlings - with a slight nutty taste - can be eaten as a juice (smoothie) or added to the ingredients of your recipes.
Smart tip about chia seeds
In order to avoid possible stomach ache, it is contraindicated to consume it regularly. People allergic to flax or sesame seeds should be careful not to consume them without medical advice.