I have to admit that when a friend of mine said “Hey, have you ever heard of Chia Seeds?” I couldn’t help but immediately think of Chia Pets and wonder if she was referring to the seeds you use to “Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia!” She laughed and said “I don’t think they are the same, you eat these”! (I later learned the sprouts in the famous planters are grown from Chia seeds, if only we would have known how good they are for your body, maybe we wouldn’t have wasted them on such a silly planter.)
Curious, I set out to see what they were about. Was this a new super food I was missing out on?
Chia seeds are rivaling the popular Flax seed because of their incredibly high Omega 3 content surpassing that of the Flax seed. They also are rich in antioxidants making them have a longer shelf life then Flax. Chia seeds will stay fresh at room temperature for 2 years without any preservatives! What makes Chia seeds especially attractive is they are easily digested, so you don’t have to grind them up like Flax. You can eat the whole seed as is and because of its flavor you can easily add it to just about anything you eat.
Not only are they high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, but they are a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, boron, manganese, copper, and iron. The calcium of this seed is quite amazing making them an excellent choice for bone health. I was surprised to find that Chia seeds have more calcium than whole milk by weight. For example, 1 cup of milk offers 120mg of calcium, 2 ounces of Chia seeds offers 600mg’s!
Chia Seeds are also being coined as a “Dieters Dream”. One thing that makes them really special is they turn into gel in your body which keeps you feeling full longer. They are also loaded with natural fiber. Fiber is something we all need more of in our diets as it helps the body detoxify keeping toxins moving out of the body.
Scientists believe that because of this gelling that takes place in the stomach, Chia seeds slow the process of how the body converts carbohydrates to simple sugars making it a great food for diabetics. Scientists also recommend it for Athletes as a way to keep their bodies hydrated. The seed is highly hydrophilic meaning it can hold large amounts of water so that the water stays in your body longer.
Cooking with Chia seeds is easy because the Chia Seed takes on whatever flavor you are cooking with so it’s easy to add to most any recipe. Sometimes seeds can be tough to cook with but this is really versatile. There are many options of how to use it in the kitchen. My personal favorite is you can make your own Chia gel and use it to replace half of the butter or oils in baking. So if a recipe calls for ½ cup of butter, use ¼ cup butter and ¼ cup Chia gel. To make the gel mix 9 parts water to one part Chia seed using a whisk. Let stand for about 20-30 minutes and whisk again to get the clumps out. If you have extra it can be stored in your refrigerator for 2 weeks.
I make a snack mix for my family that we eat every afternoon using Chia seeds, and other seeds like Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds, with raw Cashews and Almonds. Some other options are adding the seeds, either whole or ground, to salads, yogurt, hot or cold cereal, homemade granola, rice, smoothies, stir-fry’s, really any recipe! Don’t be afraid to experiment and be creative.
You can buy black or white whole Chia seeds; both will give you the same amount of nutrients. It’s more of a personal preference. You can also buy milled or powdered variety. I only buy the whole seeds and purchase them quite frequently. I’ve found the best quality and lowest price here.
– Angela Garrison
As a Health and Wellness expert, Angela is helping people unleash their super-power ability to prevent their bodies from getting sick in the future. Angela is also a Children’s Health Advocate and founder of the popular Change Your Food Change Your Future program, proving of all the things we control and make decisions about every single day…. there is one that you absolutely must get right.
Visit Angela’s site at http://changeyourfoodchangeyourfuture.com/