Chia seeds have amazing nutritional value and medicinal properties and are one of the greatest Superfoods.
You probably remember them from the novelty ‘chia pets’! Those same little seeds that could grow so-called ‘hair’ on a clay animal come from the Mayan word – chiabaan, meaning strengthening. The Aztec Indians called it their endurance superfood. They would eat as little as one tablespoon with some water from a stream when going on a 24 hour hunt or march. It was the ONLY food they brought for nourishment.
Talk about energy!!!
Diabetics – take note….
If you try mixing a spoonful of chia seeds in a glass of water and leaving it for approximately 30 minutes or so, when you return the glass will appear to contain not seeds or water, but an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the chia. Researchers believe this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when food containing these gummy fibers, known as mucilages, are eaten. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This keeps your blood sugar levels more stable. Spikes in blood sugar lead to slumps during the day. When you feel tired, you crave sugar. In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance!!
Besides this amazing gel-forming ability, look at what else these small seeds contain:
▪ 8 times more omega 3’s than salmon
▪ 30% more antioxidants than blueberries
▪ 25% more fiber than flax seeds
▪ 3 times more iron than spinach
▪ 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
▪ 6 times m ore calcium than milk
▪ 2 times more potassium than a banana
Added Benefit: WEIGHT LOSS!!!
Plus, these power-packed seeds also allow you to lose weight without feeling hungry. They are a dieter’s dream come true! The natural gel-forming property allows you to remain full for longer periods of time. Adding a tablespoon of chia seeds each morning might keep you from reaching for that extra cup of coffee or your morning donut break.
An additional added benefit is the improvement of your digestion. The exterior of the seed is protected by insoluble fiber and insoluble fiber is unable to be digested, so it keeps food moving smoothly through your digestive system. This insoluble fiber and the gel coating of the seed, keeps the colon hydrated and ensures easy movement of food. The fiber helps sweep cholesterol out of your system, keeps you regular and feeling energized.
Need MORE Energy?
Your energy levels have a lot to do with what you eat. Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter and some beans are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods. Chia, however, is a complete protein and will keep your energy levels up all day.
Chia seeds are also extremely high in antioxidants. These helpful substances are what make chia seeds stay fresh for so long. At room temperature, they’ll stay fresh and ready to eat for over two years without a single chemical or preservative. Remember, antioxidants help prevent free-radical damage in our body. Free radicals lead to premature aging of the skin and inflammation of various tissues.
And lastly, being deficient in minerals or vitamins can create food cravings. For example, if you are low in calcium, you may feel compelled to eat more cheese and ice cream. This happens because your body knows that these are sources of calcium and it hasn’t been getting enough. You can also get calcium by adding more chia seeds into your daily diet. They also have magnesium and boron, essential trace minerals used in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins. By balancing your vitamins and minerals, you can curb cravings that tempt you.
I recommend adding chia seeds on a daily basis for health and vitality. We already know that weight loss pills or packaged meals can increase your grocery bill. But more than enough chia seeds for one month cost less than a dollar a day. There is no preparation and their benefits such as weight loss, increased energy, controlling blood sugar, improved digestion and their high anti-oxidant qualities make them the perfect superfood for you. All you need is a measuring spoon!
With so many great benefits of chia seeds you’d think its weakness would be versatility. Nope! This superfood is super versatile too!
So here are 5 great ways to eat chia seeds:
As An Egg Replacement
Many people like to avoid eggs or sometimes you’ve just run out of those farm-raised goodies! Either way chia seeds make a great substitute.
Simply use 1 tablespoon of finely ground chia seeds (grind dry chia seeds in a blender or food processor) and 3 tablespoons of water per egg in a baking recipe.
Pudding is a treat that’s hard to beat but it can often be very unhealthy! See Recipe Below…
We all know sprouts are delicious why not sprout your own chia seeds to add a nutritional kick to your salads?
Oatmeal is a great way to start the morning! Why not mix some almond or coconut milk with chia seeds for some quick nutrient rich oatmeal?
All that gluten and sugar in regular bread crumbs is enough to make you feel heavier just looking at it! Chia seeds mixed with almond flour and your favorite spices make a great “breading” replacement for any food that could use an additional spice and crunch. One of my favorites is to “bread” is eggplant.
If you want to make it as a pudding, here’s one of my favorite recipes:
Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding
Use a glass pyrex dish with lid or a mason jar.
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup chia seeds
1 T. raw cacao powder
15 drops liquid Stevia (use more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
Mix all ingredients in dish or jar, shake or stir and let sit for 30 minutes.
Can add some fresh berries on top. Enjoy!
This is a great dessert or something to nibble on when you need a boost of energy or a little taste of sweetness! And it is sugar-free and dairy-free