Chia seeds are emerging as a nutritional supplement

Many nutritionists believe that people who eat a balanced and moderate diet do not need supplements. Others swear by the importance of these supplements and others stick to just eating healthy and not smoking, being moderate in alcohol and, above all, exercising a lot. But in any case, nutritional supplements are frequently used and chia seeds in particular are in the spotlight. Chia seeds, like various other nutritional supplements, are characterized by the multitude of minerals and vitamins. The seeds also have some other good properties. The plant that supplies the seeds is originally from Mexico.

Dietary supplement with many minerals and vitamins

Traditionally, nutritional supplements usually consist of concentrated sources of one or more vitamins, minerals or bioactive substances. They are available in the form of capsules, drinks, drops, pills, powders, sachets or tablets. However, all these products have the same effect as the vitamins, minerals or bioactive substances that are naturally found in food and drinks. For this reason, many nutritionists do not consider adding it to their daily diet as necessary. However, there is currently a noticeable trend towards a special type of supplements, namely the addition of seeds and kernels to daily meals.

Rise of chia seeds as a supplement

In addition to all kinds of seeds and kernels, which have been known for some time, chia seeds are currently emerging as a nutritional supplement. Some bakers are noticing an increasing demand for chia seeds. Although there is no real craze yet, the increasing sales are remarkable and who knows? Searching for a baker who sells chia seeds will not be successful everywhere, but the seeds can also be obtained via the internet or can certainly be purchased in health food stores or at the Saturday organic farmers market in Amsterdam.

Plant from the lip flower family

Chia is a plant species that belongs to the lip flower family. The lip of the lip flower serves as a landing place for insects, ultimately making pollination possible. This part of the flower consists of a large transformed petal. A very well-known plant species that also has a lip flower is the orchid. Chia is also known as Salvia Hispanica and is originally from central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Growth habit of chia

The annual plant can grow up to one meter high with leaves four to eight centimeters long and three to five centimeters wide. The chia produces white or purple flowers in numerous clusters at the end of each stem. The chia seed is a small type of seed with seeds in the shape of an oval with a diameter of about one millimeter.

Already cultivated by Aztecs

The plant was already cultivated by the Aztecs who lived between about 1200 and 1520 in what is now Mexico. They discovered that the chia seed gave strength. According to tradition, Aztec warriors derived energy and endurance from the seed. They also used the seeds as a medicine for various ailments.

Brought over mainly from Mexico

Today, the plant’s cultivation takes place in Argentina, Australia, Guatemala, Bolivia and Ecuador. But the seeds are mainly used in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Its fame in Europe is still limited. In Mexico, the seed is added to water or fresh fruit juice and sold under the name chia fresca.

Characteristics

Some characteristic properties of chia are:

  • The plant is packed with proteins and fiber.
  • The plant has a high percentage of antioxidants.
  • The plant is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • The seeds can be used to support bowel movements.

Processing options of the seeds

Chia seeds can be soaked overnight in water and added to breakfast cereals such as muesli. But other processing options include jam, nut spread, porridge, peanut butter, pudding, salad, soup and yoghurt. In ground form, chia seeds are also used in baking products to bake bread or cake.

Consume quickly

The quickest and easiest way to consume chia seeds is to stir a tablespoon into a glass of water and let it sit for about five minutes. Then stir again and then simply drink it. The taste of the seed is nutty.