April 5, 2017
It was just over 4 years ago that I was introduced to this little miracle of a seed and I haven’t looked back since. I was 5 months pregnant with my first child and a friend recommended I start eating this stuff called chia. She explained how good it was for me and my growing baby. She mentioned all the Omega-3s it contained and other things like protein, fiber and antioxidants.
I thought it was too good to be true but I was proven quite wrong. Chia’s super powers have had a great impact on my health as well as the health of my family and as the popularity of this little seed grows so does its positive impact on the health of so many people.
What makes these tiny little seeds so powerful?
- To begin with, chia is a whole, raw food.
- No artificial anything, just a simple little seed.
- Chia is a natural source of antioxidants, Omega-3s and fiber.
- The seeds contain no gluten and have zero trans fat and are an excellent source of protein.
Here’s why, if you haven’t done so already, you should include this super seed into your diet:
Every cell in the body requires Omega-3 fatty acid (ALA – alpha-Linolenic acid) to stay healthy. Our bodies do not produce it so we must get it from our diet. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3 and has an ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6.
The typical North American diet consists of very high levels of Omega-6s which can lead to inflammation and disease. By incorporating chia into the diet we can counteract many of these negative side effects by reducing inflammation and promoting health.
The fact that chia is a clean, whole-food source of protein has many people’s attention. It is great news for vegetarians and vegans who often struggle to get enough protein in their diets but it is also great for anyone looking to add a healthy form of protein to their diet. \
All the cells in our body contain protein. It builds, repairs and maintains tissues and very importantly, the brain depends on the amino acids that come from protein as building blocks. Chia is a powerful food choice for anyone looking to add clean protein into their diet.
Chia is an amazing little seed, it can absorb up to 12x its weight in water due to the soluble fiber it contains. When the chia seed swells to an almost gel-like consistency it allows it to retain electrolytes in body fluids as well as prolonging hydration in the body. This is great for anyone looking for sustained energy and hydration and it is also great for curbing hunger as it leaves you satisfied for long periods of time.
A 13g serving of chia seeds can provide 5 grams of fiber. Fiber is key to a healthy digestive system and the soluble type in chia is clean and very useful for stimulating healthy digestion and elimination. Another great thing about fiber is it feeds the good bacteria in the intestine leading to even better gut health. Once again, chia proves just how powerful it can be at promoting a healthy diet.
Chia seeds are naturally very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body to fight free radicals that can damage our cells and our DNA. This damage can lead to premature aging and the onset of illnesses and disease.
By consuming chia seeds you are giving your body a dose of antioxidants that can help to slow down this damage. As well, chia is a whole food and the body recognizes it and responds to it much better than any synthetic supplement.
Finally, chia is incredibly easy to incorporate into your everyday diet. It is versatile and virtually tasteless, making it an easy sell for anyone willing to give it a try.
Here are just a few ways that I incorporate chia into my family’s diet:
- I put it into smoothies almost daily for myself and the rest of my family.
- I sprinkle it on oatmeal and mix it into sauces like spaghetti, BBQ and add it to soups and chilli.
- I use it in almost all of my baking either on its own or made into an egg substitute by mixing 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water.
A favorite recipe of mine is chocolate chia pudding:
Chia can be mixed into any liquid and it will absorb it to swell into a gel-like consistency. This one is so versatile and you can make it really any way you want, with any liquid and add-ins you can dream of.
- 1 ¼ cups coconut milk, almond milk or any milk of choice
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup cacao
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp sea salt
This mixture can either be whisked together and poured into individual containers to sit for at least an hour, this will allow the seeds to absorb most of the liquid. Or, to get rid of any chia evidence, the mixture can be blended thoroughly for a much smoother consistency then poured into individual containers.