Chi- chi- chi chia! At some point in life you probably ended up with a ceramic head, cow, or bunny and a pack of chia seeds. Oh the lovable Chia Pet. Usually intended as a quick gag gift that might sprout once in it’s brief home on your kitchen counter, the nostalgic earthen wear surprisingly harbors an Aztec worshiped super food!
Forget about the grass. The tiny black Chia seed is oozing with Omega-3′s and fiber. Even higher levels than flaxseeds. This Mexican and Central American native was the main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors.
In my recent efforts to perfect my nutrient intake and lean up, I broke down and grabbed a bag of the pricey warrior seeds to replace my flax fix. I happily add a tablespoon to my morning oat muesli and almond milk knowing that Chia seeds…
1.) Are rich in vital Omega-3′s. More than flax seeds!
2.) So high in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.
3.) Don’t have to be ground, like flax seeds, to make their nutrients available to the body.
4.) Are full of these goodies: fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
Just Add Water! When added to water and allowed to sit for 1/2 an hour, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest this occurs in the stomach and slows down the break down of carbs into sugar. Which means you feel satisfied longer and insulin doesn’t spike as much. A nutty tasting concoction called the “chia fresca” is a traditional drink that utilizes this energy stabilizing technique.
Quick recipe: 1 tablespoon of seeds, water, lemon or lime juice and raw sugar. Yum!
How To Use Chia: use these powerful little guys like you’d use flax seeds. Sprinkle ground or whole seeds on cereal, on top of yogurt, in salads, smoothies or just munch as a snack. Grind for use in flours for baked goods as well.
As you all know I adore super foods and live by the quality over quantity golden rule. I am constantly tinkering with my own diet and am excited to see how Chia seeds make me feel. With the scary high levels of mercury in fish and my persistent efforts to eat lower on the food chain, I have turned to nuts, seeds and the one and only Acai berry for my Omega-3 fix.
Where do you get your omega-3′s from? Nuts, seeds, or their oils? Fish or fish oil supplements? There’s a wide variety of options and the debate on which is better will forever unravel. This works for me at the moment. What works for your body?