Seeds and Cereals

Chia’s health benefits

Originally from Mexico and Guatemala, chia (Salvia hispanica L .) belongs to the same family as salvia, which is why it is also known as “Hispanic salvia”. Its name in the Mayan language means “strength”, which justifies its use in the diet of Aztec warriors. These people also used chia as a bargaining chip and also to pay taxes.

Chia was the third most cultivated food in Mexico, behind corn and beans. The culture lost strength in the 16th century with the colonization of Christopher Columbus. The decline and near disappearance is due to two factors. The first is that chia seeds were part of religious rituals such as homage to the gods and offerings on altars, something considered absurd by the colonizers. Another factor is the arrival of cereals brought by the Spaniards.

Cultivation remained restricted to the mountainous areas of Mexico and Guatemala until 1991. That year, research began to develop cultivation and encourage consumption. In 2012, Australia stood out as a major production hub. In Brazil, chia is produced in Rio Grande do Sul and also in Paraná. The reason for these locations is the predominance of cold weather. Planting takes place between February and March with harvest in June or July.


The popular wisdom in Mexico that says “a spoonful of chia a day can keep a person up all day”. Exaggerations aside, nutritionists claim that 25 grams daily works wonders for health.

Called a superfood, chia is one of the greatest sources of omega 3, important for heart and nervous system health. It also has vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc and potassium. If you still don’t know what it’s capable of, discover the 10 benefits of chia:

  1. Strengthens the immune system

Calcium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium keep your cells healthy. In turn, selenium and zinc make the body more resistant to infections. Want more? The antioxidants caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid prevent cell aging, helping to ward off cancer.

  1. Prevents anemia

The 100-gram serving has 3 times more iron than spinach, a vegetable known as a great source of iron. The power of the seed is so great that consumption of the recommended daily amount of chia corresponds to almost 70% of the daily iron requirement.

  1. is good for the brain

In addition to omega 3, magnesium is also important for the brain. With 15 times more magnesium than broccoli, chia preserves cognitive functions. B-complex vitamins also improve brain function.

  1. protect the eyes

A source of vitamin A, it represents 20% of the nutrient’s daily requirements. Consuming this superfood prevents illnesses such as cataracts.

  1. Detoxifying action

Search for “detox diet” and you will find several recipes with chia. That’s because caffeic acid is an antioxidant that cleans the liver. The seed also destroys cells that accelerate aging.

  1. Leaves bones and teeth healthy

Chia is a calcium alternative for lactose intolerant people. The 25 gram portion of the seed supplies 21% of the daily nutrient requirements. In addition to preventing bone diseases such as osteoporosis, the seed also strengthens teeth.

  1. Strengthens the muscles

Protein keeps your muscles healthy. In addition, the seed is an essential food for those who practice physical activity, as it helps in post-workout muscle training and recovery. Another detail, chia seeds have 2 times more potassium than bananas, helping to prevent cramps.

  1. Improves heart function

Omega 3 helps prevent high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. The nutrient also lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, and fiber prevents diabetes by making the body digest carbohydrates more slowly, reducing the release of glucose.

  1. helps to lose weight

Every 100 grams of chia has 38 of fibers. They take a long time to be absorbed, so it leaves the body feeling full for a longer time. In addition, it has a lot of water, which increases and facilitates the elimination of feces.

  1. It’s good for the skin, hair and nails

Zinc acts in the production of collagen, a substance related to the formation and maintenance of skin, hair and nails. Copper also stimulates collagen production.


Despite so many qualities, seeds can be harmful. Researcher Receive Rawl, from the American College of Gastroenterology in North Carolina (USA) reported that a man developed esophageal problems from eating a spoonful of chia and drinking water every day. The habit obstructed the organ to the point where the man could not swallow saliva. Know when chia can be bad:

  • It can speed up the intestinal transit: those who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome need to be careful with foods with high fiber content, as they are digested more slowly;
  • It can lower the pressure too much: people with low blood pressure can feel very sleepy, tired and have a headache due to the fact that those who have high blood pressure and use medication for this purpose should be careful with the seed, as it can lower the pressure too much.


Chia can be consumed fresh and in the form of flour and oil. To include it on the menu, put it in yogurt, smoothies, juices and cakes. Learn 5 chia recipes to make your life healthier:

Iskiate (traditional Mexican drink also known as fresh chia that helps you lose weight)


  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds;
  • 1 lemon juice;
  • Honey or brown sugar;
  • 1 glass of warm water.

Preparation mode

Mix ingredients with a spoon. Wait 10 minutes and stir again with the spoon. Drink immediately or leave a little in the fridge.



  • ½ spoon of chia;
  • 4 ripe dwarf bananas;
  • ½ cup rolled oats;
  • 1 coffee spoon of ground cinnamon;
  • 1 cup brown sugar;
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour;
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour;
  • 1 cup of natural yoghurt;
  • ½ cup skim milk;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 2 tablespoons of butter;
  • Lemon juice;
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Preparation mode

Place eggs, yogurt, sugar and butter in a large bowl and mix well. Add the flours little by little and keep stirring. Add the chia, stir, add the oats and mix until the dough is hard. Add milk, stir slowly and finish with the yeast. In a container, cut bananas into slices and mix with cinnamon and a little lemon juice. Place the bananas in the dough along with the juice.


dough ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seed;
  • 1 tablespoon of flaxseed;
  • ½ cup of green banana biomass (for sale in natural products stores);
  • 1 ½ cup of rice;
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted ghee butter;
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder;
  • 1 egg;
  • Hot water to turn on.

stuffing ingredients

  • 1 chopped broccoli;
  • 1 chopped red onion;
  • 200 grams of tofu;
  • 1 cup of banana-green biomass;
  • 1 tablespoon of crumbled pepperoni sausage;
  • 1 this;
  • Extra virgin olive oil;
  • 1 puff of salt.

preparation mode

Mix all the dough ingredients with your hands. Transfer to the baking sheet and arrange the dough on the sides. For the filling, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute. Saute the sausage and onion in a skillet for 3 minutes. Crumble the tofu with a fork and add oil and salt, set aside. Beat the biomass and the egg in a blender until it forms a pâté. Take this pâté and mix it with the sausage, the egg and the onion. Put this mixture into the dough and finish with the broccoli and linseed. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 º C for 40 minutes.



  • 5 tablespoons of chia;
  • 2 tablespoons of wheat bran;
  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour;
  • 4 tablespoons of soy milk;
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder;
  • ½ teaspoon of salt;
  • 2 cups of filtered water.

Preparation mode

Put all the ingredients in a bowl, including the flour, slowly until the dough comes out of your hands and mix well. Make balls and place in dough greased with butter and floured. If you prefer, use cupcake pans . Bake in a medium oven for 30 minutes.



  • 400 grams of lean ground beef;
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seed;
  • 1 clear;
  • ½ diced red onion;
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley tea;
  • 1 dessert spoon of flaxseed flour.

Preparation mode

Place the ingredients in a deep bowl and knead well until it forms a smooth dough. Divides into four parts and model. You can fry in a non-stick skillet with olive oil, or bake. Eat the hamburger with bread, lettuce, tomato and cream cheese or with salads.

Did you know chia? It should be part of your routine. Seeds are sold in supermarkets and physical and online health food stores . Look for this powerful seed in your favorite supermarket and health food store and invest in your health.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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