When you hear the word CHIA doesn’t your mind go directly to that grass headed chia pet you either had or secretly wished you had back in the early 90’s? ( I secretly wished it haha) Well believe it or not, the recent superfood that’s been getting so much attention these days, Chia seeds, are actually made from that same plant as the Chia Pet!
What are Chia seeds:
The plant is native to South America and has been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. 1 tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and relieve joint pain and sore skin.
This SUPERFOOD is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants. After doing some research on what is considered a SUPERFOOD I couldn’t wait to try it. Now, I consume more chia then I could have ever imagined and I even sneak it into my son’s food and he has no clue!!
Per gram chia seeds contain:
- 2x more fiber than bran flakes
- 6x more iron than spinach
- 4x more phosphorous than whole milk
- 6x more protein than kidney beans
- 6x more calcium than milk
- 100% more Omega 3 than salmon
- 15x more magnesium than broccoli
The Benefits of Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds contain NO Gluten or Grains so if you are on a Gluten free diet then Chia seeds is a perfect addition.
Satiety– Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects. Your body is smarter than you think!! When you fill it with nutrient rich foods to fuel its various needs, it will not bother you for food!! Ever wonder why you’re hungry two hours after eating a value meal at a fast food chain worth about your ENTIRE’S day worth of calories?? You would think your body was good to go for at least another day, lol, but NO!!! Even though you took in all those calories, your body still needs nutrients which it clearly doesn’t get from those Big Macs or Whoppers so it continues to look for them alerting you by hunger pains and signals!!
Cholesterol– Studies show that Chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) or “good cholesterol”. Despite what people think that cholesterol is bad–your body needs good cholesterol. It protects you from having a heart attack!
Chia seeds are tasteless and therefore you are able to hide this superfood, as i mentioned above, in your child’s food or your own smoothies.
What is the recommended daily intake for Chia seeds:
In order to enjoy all of the health and nutritional benefits of chia seeds, it is recommended that at least 1 to 4 Tbsp be consumed daily.
How to incorporate Chia seeds into your meals (I don’t like to use the word diet)
Smoothies– You can add them whole to any smoothie. For an extra thick smoothie, you can use your chia coconut water mix and add that to any smoothie. I’ve even just taken a raw tablespoon in the am and washed it down with water!
Yogurt bowl– I mix 2 Tbsp. of chia seeds with my morning yogurt. I also add some to my homemade push up yogurt sticks that I make for my Son (in replace of Gogurt that is packed with sugar–post on this coming soon!)
Salad– I usually add 1-2 Tbsp. of chia seeds to my salads by taking the raw seed and tossing it into the greens.
Fish– I like to make seared tuna, but in replace of sesame seeds (which also have nutritional value) I use chia seeds.
Oatmeal– You can create overnight oats using chia seeds (recipe to be posted at a later date) or you can make oatmeal and throw the seeds on top.
Soup– When your soup is finished and in a bowl to be served, add 1 Tbsp. of chia seed on top. You don’t want to cook the chia seeds into the soup as the heat will spoil the Omega-3 goodness it holds.
Ground– You can ground the seeds into a powder and use it in baked goods in replace of flour
Chia Gel– By adding 1 Tbsp. of chia to every 3 Tbsp. of water you will get a gel-like consistency (similar to that of an egg white)
(Above picture) My son loves yogurt and fresh fruit and would eat it everyday if I gave it to him. I got pretty lucky in the food department, he will pretty much eat anything. I like to add chia on top of his foods and he doesn’t seem to mind.
(Above picture) This morning I added what was left of my chia and coconut water gel into my Nutribullet. Also included is 1 banana, 1 large leaf of swiss chard, 1 tsp of Maca powder and unsweetened almond milk to the Max line. Blend and enjoy!
Where can you purchase CHIA SEEDS?
Try looking in your local grocery store in the organic section. You can also find them in any health food store. If you are unable to locate it then you can purchase it directly from Amazon to be shipped to your home. Click this link which will redirect you to our Amazon Store. Chia seeds are located under the SUPERFOODS category.