Monday, October 10, 2011

Chia Seeds

I don't know if many of you have heard about CHIA SEEDS, but I want to tell you about another super food that is becoming more and more popular as I speak. If you look online, more companies are starting to sell "power drinks" that contain soaking chia seeds. I tried the Mamma Chia drinks at Whole Foods and they were very interesting, especially if you added some sparkling water! The Blackberry Hibiscus and Raspberry Passion are very good, but you have to get used to the fact that your power drink is "chunky!" Give them a try and let me know what you think!

In 3500 B.C. Mayans and Aztecs supplemented their diets with chia seeds. Chia comes from the word chian which means "oily." In Mayan the word chia means "strength." Chia seeds are members of the mint family and are mostly grown in Southern Mexico.  When the Aztecs conquered Mexico they began to cultivate chia seeds there; however, when the Spaniards took over chia seeds became less and less prevalent. Eventually, chia seeds were rediscovered and Mexico started cultivating them once again. 

Benefits: 
  • Provide an abundance of omega-3 fatty acid, even more so than flax seeds (Brain Power/Mental Focus)
  • Full of fiber (4.2 grams in one 15g scoop)
  • 20% protein
  • The chia gel slows down the rate that your body digests carbs and turns them into sugar, thus beneficial for diabetics
  • Absorb 12 times their weight in water, thus providing endurance, energy, and hydration during athletic events
  • Very high in antioxidants
  • Provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
  •  Gluten Free
  •  Useful for weight loss and weight management
  • Helps improve cardiovascular health by the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) and Omega 3's
Chia Seed Uses:
  • Mix them into ANY drink. Let them soak up the liquid for a few minutes then enjoy. You can leave the seeds soaking over night if you want to create a chia gel, which you can drink or eat.
  • Sprinkle them on your salad
  • Put them in your yogurt
  • Add them to your protein shake
  • Mix them into your pancake/muffin batter
  • Make them into an ice cream topper
Chia Seeds soak up a ton of liquid, so one of the best ways to absorb as many nutrients from the chia seed is to eat them after they have been soaking in liquid. They are MORE digestible this way! Try them in ANYTHING! Let me know how you eat your chia seeds!

Recommended Products:
  • Green Plus Organic Chia Seeds ($13.57 for 1 lb. on vitacost)
  • Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds ($22.89 for 3 lbs. on vitacost)

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