Some people have heard of them from Dr. Oz’s book, YOU Staying Young. I, on the other hand, happened upon Chia seeds at Costco of all places. Considered rare, Chia seeds are now available at your local big box store. I got a huge 2 pound bag for $6.79. They don’t have to be refrigerated and last several years. How good is that?
I’m sure you are dying to know if these have anything to do with the seeds you bought as a kid for Chia Pets. Yes and no. Chia Pets use Chia seeds, but these edible ones won’t grow hair on clay planters.
Chia seeds are nutritional dynamite. Self NutritionData says that one ounce (28 grams) yields 137 calories, 9 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, no cholesterol, 5 mg of sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. If you are interested in Omega-3, there are 4915 mg in an ounce and 1620 mg of Omega-6.
The package I bought calls Chia seeds SUPERFOOD OF THE AZTECS. This member of the mint family has been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. It was a staple in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans in Central America. “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength.
Chia seeds contain significantly more antioxidants than flax seeds and are easier to digest as they don’t have to be ground to release their nutritional benefits.
They appeal to Mr. Lazy Cook because they are a no-muss no-fuss easy-to-fix treat.
He recommends the following simple ways to include them in your diet:
Add one or two tablespoons of Chia seeds to :
* Your favorite smoothie
* Top your salad or blend into your salad dressing
* Enhance your yogurt with Chia seeds
* Sprinkle on oatmeal or atop any breakfast cereal
* Blend into your favorite muffin or pancake recipe
Of the top 10 benefits of Chia seeds, there are:
1. Lose weight without starving. You can also make a wonderful weight loss gel mixing one tablespoon of Chia seeds to a bottle of water or your favorite juice. It becomes a gel as the Chia seeds absorb the water. If you start to get a ‘snack attack’ before lunch drink some of this tasty gel. It will fill you up and provide valuable nutrition instead of a candy bar or other snack.
2. Balance blood sugar. Both the gelling action of the seed, and its unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars. If you eat Chia seeds with a meal, it will help you turn your food into constant, steady energy rather than a series of ups and downs that wear you out.
5. Feel more energized all day long. Don’t want to feel like taking an afternoon nap? Your energy levels have a lot to do with what you eat. Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter and some beans is incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get the full benefit. Not Chia though, its protein is complete to raise your energy levels. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy.
8. Cut cravings for food. Being deficient in minerals or vitamins can create a craving for food. For example, if you’re low on calcium, you may feel compelled to eat lots of cheese and ice cream. This happens because your body knows that cheese is a source of calcium, and it hasn’t been getting enough. But what if dairy and whole milk are a “Diet don’t?” You can always add calcium to your food by sprinkling on the Chia seeds. By weight, Chia has more calcium than whole milk. It also has magnesium and boron, essential trace minerals used in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins. By balancing your vitamins and minerals with Chia, you can curb cravings that might tempt you.
10. Save your money. Diet pills and box meal plans can run up to $500 a month. More than enough Chia for one month costs less than $1 a day. You can use as much or as little as you want.
You can read all 10 benefits of Chia seeds here.
The link 40 Ways to use Chia seeds includes:
5. Add seeds to soup to thicken.
8. Eat seeds whole and raw as a snack.
10. Make Chia pudding by adding whole seeds to milk, nut milk, or soy milk.
16. Make Chia pan bread by combining Chia seeds, eggs, milk flour and baking powder. Cook in a heavy based pan with a lid on.
I only bought my first Chia seeds two days ago. I have been including one tablespoon in my morning smoothie and I also add a tablespoon to my High Fiber Parfait.
When I wrote about this parfait on May 13, I thought (hoped) that I had tweaked the recipe for the last time. Clearly I was wrong. Seems I stumbled upon a way to make a good simple dish even better.
Here are links for other blog posts I wrote on Chia seeds:
Chia Fresca – the energy drink.