It’s been some time since I posted on superfoods. After all, there are only so many, some of which you can learn about here. I realize there are a few awesome ones I haven’t included so be on the lookout over the next few weeks. With so many food options, why not spend our dollars on the most nutrient dense?
Chia seeds are a tiny, yet super seeds. Yes these once famous seeds that became chia pets, are packed with nutrition. They were even a staple food of the Mayans too. Superfoods are nutrient dense foods and chia seeds definitely qualify.
Top Benefits of Chia Seeds
As with most seeds, Chia is a great source of this antiaging and anticancer benefit.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
Fats are an essential part of our diet, especially healthy fats like these, which can also be cardio-protective by regulating fat metabolism.
There are few plant sources that contain the full essential amino acid profile necessary to create the proteins in our bodies. Chia is one as I shared in a post about Plant-Based Complementary Proteins.
Fiber is wonderful for intestinal health. Foods high in fiber also help with healthy cholesterol metabolism and weight control.
Oftentimes people think they need to drink milk or eat yogurt to get Calcium, but not so these super seeds have noteworthy levels–a great plant-based source.
In order for the body to receive the nutritional benefits of Chia seeds, be sure to:
1. Hydrate chia seeds!
Soak them in water or almond milk or the salad dressing and consume the whole gooey contents. The gold of the chia seed is in the goo. If you just sprinkle them places raw and unsoaked they remain dormant.
2. Chew chia seeds!
If we swallow them whole without chewing them they will likely pass straight through our digestive tract as an intact seeds. This is a protection mechanism that occurs in nature when animals eat fruit so that the seeds pass to the earth to sprout new plants.
3. Ground chia seeds!
If the texture of the seeds bother you or your teeth you can ground them up and then soak them in the proper amount of water you are using.
Ways to Eat Chia:
- Add to any breakfast bowl (oatmeal, cereal, etc.)
- Add to any smoothie
- Add to a salad or salad dressing.
- Add to any beverage
- Chia seed pudding: 3 Tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid (almond, hemp, rice or coconut milk) soak overnight or minimum of ~ 5 hours. Top with fresh fruit, cinnamon and grade B maple syrup (optional sweetner).
- Use as a thickening agent to any salad dressing, dip, or pudding
If Chia is a new food for you. Implement it into your diet and see how you feel. It’s always nice to try new things that can potentially elevate your being, but if you feel tired, bloated, or off in anyway, perhaps chia isn’t for you and that’s ok! Enjoy and leave your comments letting us know what delicious concoctions you've created or will create!
The Promising Future of Chia, Salvia hispanica L. Norlaily Mohd Ali, Swee Keong Yeap, Wan Yong Ho, Boon Kee Beh, Sheau Wei Tan, ,* and Soon Guan Tan. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012; 2012: 171956. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518271/