Your Chia Seeds Are Now Even Healthier, and Could Slow Signs of Ageing

chia seed research

For all Millenials and Xennials, your lives can be divided into BC and AD. ‘Before Chia’, and ‘After Distributing (chia on almost everything)’.

That may not be entirely historically accurate — it could also be sacrilegious, depending on who you talk to — but we all remember the simple innocence of the time where chia seeds weren’t everywhere. Sometimes literally, depending on if you spilled them.

Chia seeds became a “craze” in 2012, according to BBC News, and was given the label of “The ‘It’ Food” in 2013 by ABC News US. They’re touted as a “superfood” and are said to be energy-boosting. According to Healthline, they’re chockfull of fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and various micronutrients.

And now, it seems that these little seeds could pack even more of a health punch, according to work conducted by a research team at Purdue University.

What’s been discovered? Well, the team has come up with an improved extraction method for the seeds, separating the mucilage from the chia seed. And mucilage, as the name suggests, is the thick, gluey substance that surrounds chia seeds. You definitely know it, if you’ve ever made chia seed pudding. The mucilage makes processing the seeds for food, or pharmaceutical use pretty difficult — nearly impossible, according to the team.

Current separation methods, like the freeze-drying process, can be expensive and time-consuming, and can also damage useful components of the seed as well as decrease the total yield. The new process, which involves temperature, ultrasonication, and vacuum-assisted filtration, can save time and money. This method has already yielded a protein-rich chia seed flour with improved bioactivity and functionality.

If you’re wondering what exactly all this means? Well, it means new options for nutritional foods, medicine capsules, and even anti-aging products. Yep, what you eat for breakfast could soon be slathered across your face each morning (just don’t go putting your face in your cereal bowl, please).

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