Chia seeds have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Today, they draw the interest of many people for their health benefits and uses in cooking. It turns out chia seeds are a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants. Chia seeds are among the most healthiest foods. They are the seeds of Salvia Hispanica which is related to the mint plant.
BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS:-
- Power house of nutrients:-
Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Fibre, Antioxidants ,Minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorous,Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin and Thiamine.
2. Loaded With Antioxidants:-
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. The antioxidants prevent the delicate fats from going rancid, thus increasing the shelf life.
3. Almost all the carbohydrates in the seeds are fibre:-
One ounce of chia seeds, that is about 28 grams, contain about 12 grams of carbohydrates. However, out of those 12 grams, 11 grams are fibre. Fiber doesn’t raise blood sugar, doesn’t require insulin to be disposed of and therefore shoul dn’t count as a carb. The carb true content is only 1 gram per ounce, which is very low. Fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine, which is important because keeping your gut bugs well fed is absolutely crucial for health. Chia seeds are 40% fiber, by weight. This makes them one of the best sources of fiber in the world.
4.High in protein content:-
Chia seeds are high in quality protein, much higher than most plant foods. Protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can drastically reduce appetite and craving.
5. Due to high fiber and protein content, Chia seeds may help you loose weight:-
The fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food. The protein content of chia seeds could also help in weight loss and reduction of appetite. However, the effect of chia seeds on weight loss have been studied and the results have been disappointing. But one study showed that Chia seeds help in reducing appetite.
6. High in many important bone nutrients:-
Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health.This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.The calcium content is particularly impressive… 18% of the RDA in a single ounce.Gram for gram, this is higher than most dairy products.Chia seeds may be considered an excellent source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy.
7. They cause improvements in type 2 diabetes:-
The most successful application of chia seeds to date was in a study on type 2 diabetic patients.In this study, 20 diabetic patients received either 37 grams of chia seeds, or 37 grams of wheat bran, for 12 weeks .When they got the chia seeds, they saw improvements in several important health markers.Blood pressure went down by 3-6 mm/Hg and an inflammatory marker called hs-CRP went down by 40%. There was also a drop in blood sugar, but it wasn’t statistically significant.
8. Chia seeds can improve exercise performance as much as energy drinks:-
In a study, 6 participants “carb-loaded” with either Gatorade or a mix of half Gatorade/half chia. Then they ran for an hour on a treadmill, followed by a timed 10km long run. There was no difference between the two groups. In other words, replacing half of the Gatorade with chia seeds did not reduce the performance of the athletes, indicating that chia seeds were of some use. according to this study, chia seeds can help athletes carb load for endurance events, while increasing their nutrient intake and decreasing their intake of sugar.
CHIA SEEDS And BASIL SEEDS- is there a difference??
- They’re from different parts of the world. Basil seeds derive (unsurprisingly) from the basil plant; which is native to both the Mediterranean and India. Chia seeds, on the other hand; hail from Mexico and Guatemal and are dervided from Tapioca..
- They’re consumed differently. This is the really significant difference. Basil seeds cannot be eaten raw. Instead, you’ll need to soak them for at least a couple of hours in water. However, chia seeds can be consumed both raw and soaked; depending on how you want to use them.
- Appearance. The seeds actually look quite different when you compare them. Basil seeds are black, tiny and shaped almost like a minute grain of rice. Chia seeds are a little bit larger, more oval in shape, and come in a variety of colours; including grey, brown, white and black.
- Nutritional content. Both seeds offer certain nutritional benefits, but it’s generally thought that chia seeds are ‘better’ for you; as they contain antioxidants, fibre, calcium, protein and many other key minerals. However, basil seeds contain plenty of iron.
- Benefits to the body. Chia seeds help to maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels in the body. Studies conducted on animals also indicate that they help lower cholesterol and promote improved cardiovascular health. Basil seeds, on the other hand, function well as a diuretic and aid digestion. The richness of the iron in basil seeds also helps to improve quality of the blood.
So yes, Basil seeds, also called SABJA are completely different from Chia seeds.
By Soumya Kumar