Are chia seeds superfood, healing foods or plain pseudo cereals?
Again and again, special foods are advertised as “superfood” due to their healthy ingredients, which should help against numerous ailments - this also applies to chia seeds. In fact, these foods are often particularly nutritious, but in the end, the key to healthy eating is overall balanced eating.
Chia seeds are becoming increasingly popular as foods with positive health properties. To what extent the seeds can actually meet expectations, the AOK has shown in a current press release. The chia seeds are therefore not much healthier than comparable products such as linseed.
Gluten-free grain substitute
According to the AOK, the trend food chia seeds are said to have "remarkable health properties." The chia plant originates from South America and is similar to sage. The plant produces white and black seeds that can be consumed and used as a gluten-free grain substitute. The AOK reports that chia seeds have been allowed to be imported as food by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) since 2013.
A maximum of 15 grams of chia seeds a day
Regarding the daily intake, EFSA advises not to consume more than 15 grams of chia seeds per day, the AOK continues. The seeds would mostly be used as an addition to muesli, yoghurt or baked goods. Oil from chia seeds is also available. Basically, there are no reservations about the consumption, however, according to the AOK, allergy sufferers should be careful, as there is still no sufficient scientific research on whether chia seeds can trigger allergies.
"Superfood" is a critical term
According to the AOK, chia seeds contain "many important nutrients such as protein, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals." The seeds are also said to have hypotensive properties and contain anitoxidants, which are radical scavengers that protect our cells from damage. The term “superfood” should nevertheless be assessed critically, since the European Food Information Center (EUFIC) generally warns against the expression. Because this could give the impression that other foods are less healthy. It is better to look at an overall balanced diet rather than relying on the properties of a particular food, according to the AOK.
Flax seeds with similar properties
According to the press spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society (DGE), Antje Gahl, chia seeds are nutritionally valuable compared to the magazine "TEST", but the nutrients could also be absorbed with other foods. For example, rapeseed oil, nuts and linseed are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the composition of the nutrients would make chia seeds relatively close to linseed. At the same time, the flax seeds are significantly cheaper than the chia seeds. (fp)