The Magic of Chia Seeds

Since I’ve been traveling this week, I haven’t spent a whole lotta of time in the kitchen, so I thought I’d share some information about one of the Silver Linings in my life: Chia Seeds.

Remember Chia Pets, the terracotta figurines introduced in 1977 that grew chia sprouts to resemble fur or hair? Classic, right?

Well, the same chia seeds are gaining notoriety in 2013 as the newest “superfood.” Rarely (if ever!) am I ahead of the curve, but chia seeds have been a superfood of mine for a long time thanks to their amazing nutritional benefits.

A member of the mint family, the chia plant (Salvia Hispanica) was important to the diets of Mexican Aztecs and Mayans between 1500 and 910 B.C. Chia seeds were consumed by Aztec warriors for their  “magical ability” to increase energy and stamina and used medicinally to stimulate saliva, and relieve joint pain and sore skin. Chia is commercially grown in its native Mexico, and in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala.

Chia seeds deliver the maximum amount of nutrients (including antioxidants, calcium, copper, fiber, iron, omega fatty acids, magnesium, and protein) with minimum calories which is a Silver Lining if I’ve ever seen one. Speaking of which…

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties Chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (more than salmon!) essential for our cardiovascular, immune, nervous and reproductive systems. Omega-3s help lubricate joints and have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects (great for arthritis!) EFAs help promote beautiful hair, nails, and skin. Oh, and brain power (concentration and memory) AND a healthy heart!
  • Energizer Chia seeds balanced blend of carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and protein allows for the body to perform at optimal levels for long periods of time. (Great to help boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass!)
  • Prevents Osteoporosis Chia seeds contain three times more calcium than skim milk. As calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, chia seeds are great for healthy, strong bones!
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar Chia seeds slow down the rate that our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars. This in turn stabilizes blood glucose levels (great as a blood pressure stabilizer, blood thinner – great for diabetics!))
  • Weight Loss Chia seeds absorb up to 10-12 times their own weight in water curbing the appetite. Also, the high percentage of fiber in chia seeds helps slow digestion making the body feel fuller by soaking up the fluid and expanding the digestive tract. (Also great for detoxification and elimination!)

The mild nut-like flavor of chia seeds is easy and yummy to incorporate into your diet in a variety of ways:

  • Mix in water and add lemon or lime for a refreshing “Chia Fresca.”
  • Sprinkle on cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salads or mixed into smoothies or add to baked goods such as breads, cakes, and muffins.
  • Sprinkle on fruit or even ice cream!
  • Soaked in water for about 30 minutes, “chia gel” can be added to porridges and puddings.
  • Add to beaten eggs, soak for about 10 minutes, and make a delicious omelet.

Here are some really great recipe ideas:

Hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!

 

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Comments

    • says

      Hi Trish,
      First of all, super cute blog that you have. Thanks for your question. Chia seeds are really interesting and special in that generally there is no recommended dosage or evidence of risks from possibly eating too much. That said, you always want to check with your physician on what is best for you because the amount used varies among individuals, how they feel and their needs. Personally, I do a tablespoon on my breakfast in the morning and often have a synergy chia drink in the afternoon for a pick me up.
      Hope that helps!

  1. says

    I never even thought to taste chia. I guess I will have to get a family of chia pets to harvest their coats for the nutritional value. Ha! Perhaps just having it in a liquid would be easier.