Botanist Carolus Linnaeus in the second half of the 18th century gave the name “Salvia hispanica” to the Chia seed although it originated in Mexico.
The mistake is understandable because Chia seeds were cultivated in Spain for nearly two centuries after their introduction by the conquistadors.
The CHIA plant along with amaranth, beans and corn, was the basic seed of the daily diet of the Mexican populations, the Maya and Aztecs in particular.
In the Mayan language “chia” means “strength” and these seeds were considered to have magical properties, in fact they are a powerhouse of excellent nutritional principles classified into macro and micro nutrients. They are a reservoir of carbohydrates, proteins, essential amino acids, lipids, soluble and insoluble fiber. They also have a low glycemic index, they lower cholesterol and triglycerides for their content of Omega 3, which increases good cholesterol and combats inflaming and the aging process.
The Chia seed contains more Omega 3 than the Flax seed and contains 8 times more than salmon, which as oily fish, is one of the richest source of these fatty acids.
Chia seeds have a high content in fiber capable of absorbing a quantity of water 9 times their weight.
By absorbing water, forming a gel that collects waste products and toxins from the intestine, eliminating them by incorporating them in the stool while improving constipation and irritable bowel syndrome and giving a long sensation of satiety that can help in weight loss diets diets.
In addition, this gel forms a sticky layer on the intestinal wall preventing pathogens from growing and causing damage.
Another aspect to be highlighted is the nutritional antioxidant content of these seeds, that is, molecules that fight free radicals and oxidative stress by preventing chronic degenerative diseases especially neurodegenerative diseases.
The Chia seed is a great multimineral: in fact, it contains 2 times as much the potassium of bananas, 15 times the magnesium of broccoli, 5 times the calcium of milk, 3 times the iron of spinach, and it still contains more trace elements very important such as: manganese, zinc, phosphorus and has little sodium, so it can be consumed by hypertensive subjects.
Chia seeds can be added as they are or freshly roasted to salads, milk, yogurt, beverages, smoothies, juices.
With its flour one may bake muffins, cakes, breads and tortillas.