Are you looking for a new way to lose weight without giving up on your nutritional intake? And what do you need to know about Chia, the newest sensation on everyone’s ‘yes pile’ of fitness mantra? Have no worries- you have come to the right place.
In the modern-day and age, with an increasing focus on health and nutrition, people are getting more and more into different weight loss methods and adopting various healthier food habits. However, eating right is as important as exercise for good health. Good eating habits and eating nutritious food results in a healthy body and prolongs life.
One such food item that is gaining favor with fitness enthusiasts worldwide are the Chia seeds. Chia seeds are tiny dynamites full of nutrition and energy that is taking the fitness world by storm.
However, what is the limit to its power? How much is too much? And how long do they last?
Here’s all that you need to know to help make your next health decision.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia comes from a desert plant named “Salvia hispanica” which is a type of flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are small oval seeds with black and white stripes with a diameter of about 1 millimeter. The seeds are hydrophilic i.e. they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked, which is why the Chia based food and beverages have a slight gel-like texture.
What Is the History Of Chia Seeds?
There have been found evidence of Chia seeds as a staple food item in the Aztec diet, and had been nicknamed the ‘running food’ as they supplied the warriors with renewed energy. It is native to Central America and sold predominantly in the southwestern United States and Mexico.
What Are Its Nutritional Contents?
Chia seed as a food product is a versatile superfood full of vitamins and minerals that increases life expectancy, reduces weight and treats heart ailments among others. It is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, rich in anti-oxidants, and with a high concentration of fiber, proteins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
How Does It Help?
Studies show that Chia seeds help to improve our health by reducing the risks of major health problems such as obesity, heart problems, diabetes and overall mortality. Its high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids works against the risk of heart attacks. Other benefits of Chia seeds include healthy complexion, lower weight and increase in energy.
According to reports, the high quantity of omega 3 fatty acids, fibers, vitamins and minerals found in the seeds is said to be the cause of lowered cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. They also help maintain the ectrolyte balance in your body and reduce indigestion.
How to Use Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are versatile and can be used in many different ways.
They can be eaten raw or prepared in different dishes like cereals, yogurt, rice or vegetables. Chia seeds can be added to your favorite baked recipes like waffles and cupcakes, by simply substituting some ingredients like poppy seeds or lemon seeds. It adds some crunch to the food as well as a nutty flavor profile with an added nutritional boost.
You can also add Chia seeds to your morning glass of juice or water for an interesting yet flavorful alternative. Just soak it for 15-20 minutes in water or milk and get your boost of tasty and nutritious goodness.
Chia seeds are very popular now, but it’s not the only part of the Chia plant that is edible and has nutritional value. For example, we can also use Chia sprouts as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and sandwiches, among others.
The Shelf Life of The Chia Seeds
As has been previously stated, Chia seeds have a high amount of anti-oxidants. This causes them to last longer than other seeds, like the sesame seeds, as they contain a lot of oil. It doesn't go rancid quickly.
The shelf life of Chia seeds, if stored properly, exceeds the sell-by-date time by a long period. Chia seeds last for a small period of time if not stored properly. Like many other seeds, the Chia seeds as well are produced by giving best by dates and no expiration date.
Most manufacturers set the best by date generally up to 2 years from the processing period. If you store Chia seeds properly in a refrigerated and proper hygienic area, the best by date of the seeds can extend up to 2 years from the set by date besides the actual shelf-life of the seeds, which is around 2-4 years.
How to Tell The Difference Between Good Seed And Spoiled Seed?
Chia seeds are said to have a mildly nutty flavor or almost no defining taste. However, if you eat your chia seeds and taste a bitter taste, it is likely to be spoiled and you should throw it out immediately. As you might be aware, eating spoiled or expired food can many health problems, so you should be vigilant about the expiration dates of your food items and exercise extreme caution with what you put in your body regularly.
How Should You Properly Store the Seeds?
In order to properly store the seeds to not go over the shelf life, the best way to store any food products is to properly seal it into an air-tight container and store it in a properly refrigerated area with a constant temperature. You should buy Chia seeds only if has been kept in a refrigerated store and you must keep them constantly refrigerated in your home. For best results, keep it frozen.
While not refrigerated, you must keep the seeds away from any heat sources as it reduces its shelf life. Keep them in a dark, cool area. However, it is best suggested to keep the seeds in a refrigerated fridge or freezer in a tightly sealed dark container.
Also, a cost-effective way to add them to your diet is to buy them in small quantities and add them in a grated form into your food and keep the rest in a small container for future use.
Whatever way you choose to adopt as your storage method, you should not store them in a clear or plastic container or bags as the light that enters only causes the degradation process to speed up. Buy them in vacuum-sealed containers, preferably as oxygen causes the unsaturated oils to beginning oxidizing.
However, do remember that while storing the seeds in a freezer is beneficial, the seeds won’t last much longer unless kept in a properly sealed container.
As you might have concluded after reading this article, Chia seeds as a whole have many benefits. It is one of the current major foods items that every health-conscious person is recommending for wealth loss- and rightfully so. The seeds have an ample amount of benefits and are loaded with properties that not only reduce your weight but also help you keep a healthy lifestyle. In order to make it last longer, it important to store them in air-tight container in a well refrigerated area.
So what are you waiting for? Get started on your Chia seeds diet now.