Legumes are actually the seeds or beans of a certain family of plant. Some common examples are peanuts, pinto beans, and green beans. Other seeds, like sunflower, flax, or chia seeds, are just called seeds, and they are not called legumes. To answer the main question, chia seeds are not considered legumes.
Chia Seeds Are Not Legumes But Seeds
While chia seeds are not technically legumes, they have a lot of the same nutrition as some, and eating these tiny seeds has often been compared to eating peanut butter, one very popular product of the legume family in the USA.
Chia seeds can be compared to peanuts because of the following reasons:
- Good plant-based source of protein
- Good supply of EFAs (essential fatty acids)
- Good mix of fats, carbs, and protein
- Good supply of fiber
In fact, chia seeds have been prized for their health value for centuries. When hearing about these seeds, many people think of those little plants in clay pots that were called chia plants. While this is one use of the seeds, it is important to know that both the seeds and the sprouts of these plants are perfectly edible.
While it is fine to use them for decorative plants, they can also be eaten! In fact, they can get eaten raw, prepared inside of other dishes, or ground up in a smoothie. A couple of tablespoons of chia seeds a day is a healthy addition to a diet for most people. Folks who suffer from a lot of allergies may want to contact their doctor first, but most people are fine and suffer no ill effects.
Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
While chia seeds are not considered legumes, they are considered very healthy. In fact, chia actually comes form a native word for strength. The Aztec Indians in Mexico relied upon these seeds as a dietary staple. The warriors would carry the seeds into battle as they helped to stave off hunger and even thirst.After the Aztecs were conquered, cultivating and growing these seeds fell out of favor. The Spanish did not really understand them. However, they were still cultivated and grew wild in their native areas.
It wasn’t until the later part of the 20th century that they began to get popular again.Of course, that was first because of chia pets.Today, they are prized by regular people and athletes because of their unique properties. Not only are they healthy, they are also very filling. That is why they are also blended with energy drinks, smoothies, and energy gels to make sports food and drinks that help runners feel full and hydrated.One of the most unique properties of these seeds is that they can absorb about 40 times their weight in water.
That means that they naturally create gels and puddings when mixed with other ingredients. In fact, they can even be used as a healthy way to thicken sauces or gravies.The fact that they hold waters makes them an idea type of sports foods. In fact, that is what Mexican runners have been doing for years, and they are famous for their endurance on long runs in a hot climate.Their popularity has moved north of the Rio Grande River, and now they are also cultivated in some parts of the US.
Products with chia seeds and bags of chia seeds are commonly sold in grocery and health food stores in the United States.Some people will eat a few seeds from the bag.This is fine, but not everybody likes the consistency.
Actually, they are virtually tasteless, so the taste is not unpleasant. It is more common to use them at home to blend in fruit and vegetable smoothies or to use in other recipes. Again, the properties of these seeds makes them handy to use in natural pudding, jelly, sauce, and more.
Chia Seeds Are Seeds
Chia seeds aren’t legumes, but they can be compared to many legumes as a kind of healthy food. These little seeds are a package of healthy ingredients like protein, EFAs, and carbs for sustained energy. They provide this nutrition in a good balance, so they can be relied upon for nutrition. In addition, they also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Once prized for their ability to sustain strength, they have moved back into fashion after centuries. Athletes and other folks who want to stay healthy and feel good have come to rely upon these little black or white seeds. Today’s consumers can buy them already included in some healthy products or just buy a bag of the seeds at the store to use in many different ways. Either way, chia seeds often become a staple food in homes after they get sampled.