What's It All About...?
Chia seeds have been a staple food source for the American Native people for centuries. Aztec warriors would eat Chia during hunting trips, and the Indians of the Southwest would eat only Chia seed mixed with water as they ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean to trade products.
A list of the health benefits this tiny seed offers us:
- Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are the best plant source of omega-3's known. They contain over 60% essential fatty acids. They contain more omega-3's than flax-seed. Omega fatty acids are important for concentration and brain health as well as other metabolic processes.
- Easy access - As we've discussed here, Flax seeds provide us with fantastic health benefits. Chia seeds are even better than flax in terms of ease of access to the nutrition. Chia seeds do not need to be ground for their nutrients to be available to the body.
- Antioxidant protection -They are loaded with antioxidants
- Vitamins and minerals - Chia seeds provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, zinc, and even boron (which helps the absorbing of calcium by the body).
- Gluten Free - Chia is a gluten-free source of fiber and nutrition: (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
- High source of protein - Chia is composed of over 20% protein, which is about 2 to 3 times higher than other seeds and grains. If you are a vegetarian looking for protein sources, check out Chia! The protein source in Chia is readily digestible and available to the body.
- Low glycemic index - Chia has an extremely low glycemic index of 1, and actually helps to lower the rate at which other carbohydrates are converted to sugars.
Unlike flax, Chia seeds won't go rancid and they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.
When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, Chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.
Chia has a nutty flavor. You can mix seeds in water and add your favorite juice for a refreshing drink. Sprinkle ground or whole Chia seeds on cereal, in yogurt or salads, eat them as a snack, or grind them and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods.
- Blend chia seeds into your smoothie
- Make a “lassie” by blending chia seeds, yogurt and fruit juice
- Add ground chia seeds to flour when making bread
- Add whole chia seeds to cake batter to make a poppy seed like cake
- Add seeds to stews to thicken
- Throw some seeds into stir fry
- Sprinkle seeds over salad
- Pureed fruit, chia seeds and a little fruit juice is a good topping for ice cream
- Stir whole seeds into cooked lentil dish
- Soak seeds in the beaten eggs and veggies to make a frittata
- Cook brown rice in vegetable stock and stir chia seeds through when rice is cooked
- Add whole or ground seeds to cookie mix
- Mix ground seeds with ground organic, free-range ground chicken and spices to make meatballs
Can you think of more ways to use them? Write and let me know...
Be Well! ♥