Chia microgreens appear to have been forgotten for a long time. While the seeds are high in omega 3, antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients, you may be surprised to hear that chia microgreens can provide even more health advantages.
A research study was conducted on the metabolic effect of chia microgreens. The study titled “The eﬀect of light on antioxidant properties and
Metabolic proﬁle of chia microgreens” was published in MDPI Applied Sciences. The study revealed that, in addition to raw chia seeds and other popular microgreens, chia microgreens could be a valuable addition to the diet.
What are chia microgreens?
The Latin or common name for chia greens is Salvia Hispanica. Chia is a popular plant known for its high quantities of omega oils, amino acids, and proteins.
When chia is wet, it forms a gel-like mucilaginous membrane similar to basil and flax.
You may cultivate chia microgreens in either soil or hydroponic media. The seeds germinate swiftly, taking only a few days. It has a minty, slightly bitter flavor. For optimal yield, it is harvested near the root.
Benefits of chia microgreens
Rich in Omega 3
Dairy cows are rarely permitted to wander freely on pastures and acquire the much-needed omega 3s from grass, so the average diet is chronically short in these essential fatty acids. Grain-fed chickens are in the same boat. This means that industrially produced dairy products and eggs are deficient in this vital nutrient. The chia microgreen helps by providing an abundant amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia microgreens are high in calcium, according to a study “Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): A review” published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology.
Chia microgreens are not only a good source of high-quality protein, but they also contain a lot of calcium. The calcium content of sprouted chia seeds is higher than cow’s milk. When it comes to calcium, three tablespoons of chia seeds have the nutritional equivalent of one glass of fresh milk.
Calcium in chia microgreens is beneficial for your cardiovascular system, as it improves your heart health and your body’s ability to transport nutrients and oxygen. Chia microgreens contain omega 3 fatty acids similar to chia seeds.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system. They also keep cholesterol and insulin levels in check. It also has a lot of phosphorus, which aids in efficient blood circulation and transport of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
As mentioned above, chia microgreens are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help boost brain and cognitive functions. They are known to help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. They can also help keep away anxiety and despair by improving moods.
Chia microgreens contain chlorophyll, which aids in blood cleansing and increases red blood cell count. Vitamins K, E, C, and A, potassium, and iron, are all abundant in chlorophyll. All these boost blood by increasing the number of red blood cells and detoxifying the blood.
Helps with digestion
Chia microgreens and chia sprouts are also high in fiber. That’s why they should be the superfood of choice for vegans and vegetarians who want to maintain their protein, calcium, iron, and fiber levels.
The high fiber in chia microgreens adds bulk to the food and improves digestion. Constipation is less likely, as bowel movements become regular.
Numerous studies have linked omega 3 supplementations to a reduced incidence of postpartum depression (PPD). The study titled “Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in prevention and treatment of maternal depression: Putative mechanism and recommendation” was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
The study showed that during pregnancy or after delivery, dietary supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids high in EPA lowers some symptoms of depression. Supplementing with DHA can also help healthy pregnant women by minimizing the risk of PPD.
What do chia microgreens taste like?
Chia microgreens have a mild flavor with a hint of bitterness, making them ideal for use in sweeter dishes. They also have a pleasantly fresh minty smell. (Chia is a member of the mint family.)
How to grow chia microgreens?
Growing microgreens is gradually supplanting traditional gardening practices. Microgreens are taller than sprouts, about 6 inches tall, while some are 3 inches shorter. It is dependent on the appearance of the first true leaves.
Chia plants are hardy and can swiftly adapt to changing environments. Growing chia microgreens is a good idea because of all the health benefits they provide. You can count on a healthy dose of these nutrient-dense microgreens throughout the year.
It only takes a few days to cultivate your microgreens, and then you may harvest them.
How to eat chia microgreens
Chia microgreens should not be cooked. Cooking ruins their nutritional profile. The ideal way to ensure that all nutrients are maintained is to eat them raw. Adding them to a sandwich or salad is the simplest way to get them into your diet. If you are tempted to use lettuce, they are a great substitute or addition.
Soups, salads, smoothies, and sandwiches all benefit from the addition of chia microgreens. These microgreens can add flavor to beverages and dips and serve as a garnish for several dishes. They have a tart flavor that goes well with many dishes.
What are the best foods to pair with chia microgreens?
Let’s have a look at a few recipes that include chia microgreens —
Chocolate chia cake
This sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free chocolate cake tastes great. Mix chickpeas in a food processor until they resemble a paste. Combine the pasta, eggs, honey, almonds, chia microgreens, softened dates, and coconut oil in a mixing bowl. Blend until smooth and thoroughly combined. If the mixture appears too dry, add a little more liquid. Pour the batter into a pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Green smoothie with protein for breakfast
In the morning, we all need a little pick-me-up. A protein-packed green smoothie is an ideal way to start the day. You will need:
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened (or milk of your choice)
- 1 banana, ripe
- 1/2 cup mango, frozen
- Baby spinach, a handful
- A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp of chia microgreens and seeds, chopped
- 1⁄2 scoop of your preferred protein powder if desired
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
To add freshness and a zing of flavor, toss chia microgreens into salads, sandwiches, and smoothies or add them on top of pretty much any dish. Kids will adore these microgreens because of their mild flavor, and it’s a surefire method to get them to eat their greens.
Start having these tiny nutrient powerhouses in your regular diet to help your body grow stronger and healthier and resist disease effectively.
Chia seeds. (2018, March 19). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/
Derbyshire, E. (2018). Brain health across the lifespan: A systematic review on the role of omega-3 fatty acid supplements. Nutrients, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10081094
Hsu, M.-C., Tung, C.-Y., & Chen, H.-E. (2018). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in prevention and treatment of maternal depression: Putative mechanism and recommendation. Journal of Affective Disorders, 238, 47–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.018
Levant, B. (2011). N-3 (omega-3) Fatty acids in postpartum depression: implications for prevention and treatment. Depression Research and Treatment, 2011, 467349. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/467349
Mlinarić, S., Gvozdić, V., Vuković, A., Varga, M., Vlašiček, I., Cesar, V., & Begović, L. (2020). The effect of light on antioxidant properties and metabolic profile of Chia microgreens. Applied Sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 10(17), 5731. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10175731
Schreyer, S., Klein, C., Pfeffer, A., Rasińska, J., Stahn, L., Knuth, K., Abuelnor, B., Panzel, A. E. C., Rex, A., Koch, S., Hemmati-Sadeghi, S., & Steiner, B. (2020). Chia seeds as a potential cognitive booster in the APP23 Alzheimer’s disease model. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 18215. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75209-z
Ullah, R., Nadeem, M., Khalique, A., Imran, M., Mehmood, S., Javid, A., & Hussain, J. (2016). Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 53(4), 1750–1758. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-015-1967-0
Vaz, J. dos S., Farias, D. R., Adegboye, A. R. A., Nardi, A. E., & Kac, G. (2017). Omega-3 supplementation from pregnancy to postpartum to prevent depressive symptoms: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-017-1365-x
Zhang, Y., Xiao, Z., Ager, E., Kong, L., & Tan, L. (2021). Nutritional quality and health benefits of microgreens, a crop of modern agriculture. Journal of Future Foods, 1(1), 58–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfutfo.2021.07.001