I remember when chia was introduced as a ‘superfood’ and the trendy thing to buy. The truth is what goes around comes around. Chia dates back to about 2500 B.C. as a food source. It was looked upon as a great fount of energy; a food staple in the Aztec and Myan populations. Oh, and for those of us old enough to remember, let’s not forget the infamous Chia Pet whose selling feature was as a replacement for a real live pet back in 1982. The commercial said something like, who needs a cat or dog when you can have a Chia Pet? LOL! For many of us, chia has become a staple item on our grocery list. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “chia seeds are a quick and easy-to-use source of protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, all rolled into one neat package.”

Black seeds are higher in antioxidants than white seeds, and black seeds alone contain quercitin. Thorne Research which holds the highest standards to supplemental compounds, states that “quercitin benefits the cardiovascular system and it provides protection of the gastrointestinal tract. A number of its beneficial effects appear to be due to its antioxidant activity. Quercitin scavenges free radicals and inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.” Quercitin is also found in berries, honey, tea, onions, apples and cabbage.

 One ounce of chia equals 2.75 tablespoons

nutrition of chia

Chia Seeds Are NUTRITIOUS

On top of the fact that chia seeds have more omega-3s than any

other natural source (including salmon), they are loaded with

antioxidants, calcium, protein, fiber, good fat, calcium, manganese,

magnesium, boron, and phosphorus.

Chia Seeds Are ENERGIZING

Not only do chia seeds give you a boost of energy that lasts,

they also provide stamina and endurance. They lengthen

hydration because of their absorbability so they are great for long

distance runs or those times you exert yourself to the max during exercise.

Chia Seeds REDUCE CRAVINGS

Because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble

fiber levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate

energy slowly into the bloodstream.  They are so versatile that

they can be mixed into many recipes to create a feeling of

satiation which is an important component to reducing cravings.

Chia Seeds Are EASILY DIGESTIBLE

Unlike flax seed, chia seeds do not have to be ground up before

you ingest them. The human body can easily digest chia seeds,

and with an average of 9 grams of fiber per serving, they actually help

the digestive process work better. Soluble fiber (20% of chia seed

is soluble) helps the gut. Because chia is gelatinous, you will want to

be sure to drink plenty of water so you don’t end up with elimination

issues.

Chia Seeds Are CONVENIENT & VERSATILE

You can eat chia seeds straight from the bag (again, include water),

mix them with into your favorite drink or add them to your cereal or salad,

Chia seeds have a long shelf life!

Need an egg replacement? Use one tablespoon of ground chia

to 3 tablespoons of purified water.  Each 3-1 ratio serves as a replacement

for 1 egg.

CHI CHI CHI CHIA!

I use chia in my smoothie, as chia pudding, chia jam or simply sprinkled on a salad.  Have a craving for oatmeal, but you’ve stopped eating grains?  Chia cereal is a great replacement.  Here is my chia cereal recipe which you can change to suit your own taste. There are also some links below where you will find some of my favorite chia recipes.

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For chia cereal, I mixed coconut milk, almond milk (the ratio of chia to liquid is 1/4 c. chia to 3/4 c. liquid),1/2 tsp. vanilla, a drop of stevia glycerite (you can substitute raw honey), 1/2 – 1 tsp. matcha tea powder, blackberries, strawberries, banana, raw almonds chopped, ceylon cinnamon, and chia.  Put in the refrigerator overnight.  Check on the consistency, you will want it to be thick to enjoy your morning cereal and add more liquid, but you don’t want it like concrete.

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In the morning take a cup of your prepared chia pudding and mix with an amount of non dairy milk to your liking, warm on the very lowest temperature on the stovetop, put in a bowl and enjoy topped with granola (I used a tablespoon of Purely Elizabeth), extra cinnamon, coconut flakes, a dollop of greek yogurt, or whipped coconut cream.  Dream up your own topping or simply warm up and enjoy! It’s a great way to start the day when there’s a chill in the air.

baked apple chia

http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2013/09/18/baked-apple-pie-chia-pudding/

 

no bake

http://www.thefullhelping.com/no-bake-cranberry-almond-chia-snack-bars/

 

quinoachia

http://www.fifteenspatulas.com/quinoa-salad-with-feta-and-chia-seeds/

Remember to keep diversity in your diet….there are so many amazing foods out there to consume.

Please note:  Always start off adding a new food to your diet slowly to see if it’s a good fit for your body.  People can experience adversity to a food even if it is “natural”.  If you are on medication, check with your doctor to make sure it won’t interfere with prescription(s) and will be safe to use.

 

 

Pam

TrainSmart Nutrition