Les bienfaits et utilités des graines de chia

Chia seeds are small, white or black seeds that come from the plantSalvia Hispanica L. native to Mexico and Guatemala. They are particularly known for their high content of omega-3 fatty acids beneficial for cardiovascular health. Read on to learn more about this nutritious little seed.

Nutritional profile of chia seeds

Chia seeds are among the best plant sources of omega-3s. They also contain other polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, protein and calcium. As mentioned earlier, polyunsaturated fatty acids are beneficial for heart health. As for fiber, it contributes to satiation and can help regulate intestinal transit, lower cholesterol and better control blood sugar.

Nutrients

Amount for 15 mL or 1 tsp. tbsp (11 g)

Omega 3

1.9 g

Fibers

3.7 g

Protein

1.8 g

Calcium

68 mg

Studies on chia seeds

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2018 assessed the available information on the effects of consuming chia seeds on different health conditions in humans. Participants involved in the study included healthy people, people with diabetes, athletes and people with metabolic syndrome. The daily doses of chia seeds used were separated into three categories: low dose when consumption was less than or equal to 7 g, medium dose when consumption was greater than 7 g to equal to 15 g, and high dose when consumption was less than or equal to 15 g. greater than 15 g. Parameters measured included, among others, anthropometric parameters, blood glucose parameters, markers of inflammation, lipid parameters and blood pressure. In the main analysis, the results do not observe any significant difference between the participants receiving the chia seeds and the control group. However, in the subgroup analysis, the results show significant effects in postprandial blood sugar (decrease), high density lipoproteins (decrease) and diastolic blood pressure (decrease) when higher doses of chia seeds are used. Finally, the study authors emphasize that the quality of the information assessed is low or very low. Therefore, more studies are needed to confirm the potential health benefits of chia seeds.

Chia seeds in the kitchen

Like other nuts and seeds, chia seeds are a great food to add to your diet more often. In particular, they help increase your intake of fiber and omega-3s, which are often under-represented in the diet. Here are some ideas for cooking with chia seeds:

  • In pudding

Chia seeds have the property of forming a gel when they come into contact with liquid. So all you have to do is rehydrate them with milk or a vegetable drink of your choice to obtain a no-bake pudding. Then, you are free to flavor it (eg: cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.) and garnish it (eg: fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, etc.) as you wish.

  • As an egg substitute

To make the equivalent of an egg, mix 15 mL or 1 tbsp. 45 mL ground chia seeds or 3 tbsp. of water and let stand for a few minutes. This gives you a plant-based alternative to eggs for your recipes for cookies, muffins, etc.

  • In jam

Chia seeds can also be used to make homemade jams without cooking. To do this, all you have to do is mix berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.), crushed with a fork or put in a blender, with ground chia seeds and let everything rest for a few hours in the refrigerator while a gel forms. You can also add a sweetener of your choice (eg: sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc.) according to your taste. (See theIsabelle Huot spreads)

  • As a garnish

Finally, you can simply sprinkle some ground chia seeds on your yogurt, oatmeal or salad to increase their fiber content. (To see theOat, cranberry and chia cookie mix Isabelle Huot, and theFit-Fit energy balls with Figs and Chia)

Despite their small size, chia seeds are rich in nutrients. A small amount is enough to enjoy their benefits.

References

 

Article written by:

Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist

 

AlimentationSanté

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