Chia – More Than Fun…A Truly Functional Superfood

We have all heard of ch-ch-ch- Chia Pets, and probably many of us even had one as a child. Those cute little terracotta planters in fun whimsical shapes of all sorts. You would soak the planter, spread it with the chia seeds, and watch it grow!

But have you ever wondered about the seeds themselves…as food?
I bet you never knew they were so packed with nutrition!

Chia Seeds have been used for many years by the Indians of the south west and Mexico, and even as far back as the Aztecs. It has been said that ancient Aztec warriors survived on these seeds during conquests. Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24 hour forced march.

The seeds have the highest known level of essential omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (even more than salmon), more protein, energy and fiber than any other whole grain. The seeds are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.

Chia Seeds vs. Flax Seeds

Chia seeds are so high in anti-oxidants that they do not deteriorate and become
rancid like flax seeds can.
Chia seeds do not need to be ground, before being eaten, to make the
nutrients available to the body, unlike flax seeds.

The fiber in chia seeds are soluble, forming a unique gelling reaction when added to water. It is believed this same gelling-action takes place in the stomach, creating a mucilaginous barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. This slows the conversion of the carbohydrates to sugar.

How To Use Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be sprinkled on top of foods whole or ground. They have a slight nutty flavor. Another, ideal, way that chia seeds can be used is by creating a “gel”. (See recipes using Chia Seeds.)

Chia Seed Gel

Mix 1 part seed to 9 parts water. Allow to stand 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk again, and allow to stand about 10 minutes more. A gel should have formed. Store in the fridge where it will keep for 2 weeks.

The gel will add nutrients to your food, without changing/diluting the taste of your food. Add a couple teaspoons of the gel to your yogurt in the morning, which makes it tapioca pudding-like (my kids love it this way and always beg for more). Or make a Power Smoothie by adding a Tablespoon to your favorite Shake/Smoothie recipe.

Nutritional Analysis: (1 ounce/28g)

137 calories (Calories from Fat 72)
Total Fat 9g
Sodium 5mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 11g
Protein 4g

Calcium 18%

Original Chia Pet Commercial

Something to view for fun…an original Chia Pet commercial!

Sources:

Chia for Health – Dr. Weil
Living and Raw Foods – The Magic of the Chia Seed


Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


Comments

  1. Chia ROCKS! Thanks for this great post. I just posted it on my FB page to encourage friends to give Chia a try! Thanks for your wonderful insights and recipes! Blessings, kelly

  2. So once the seeds have been sprouted, is the sprout eatable and if so…is it still nutrient packed?

    • Chia sprouts are alot harder to produce than other sprouts. From what I’ve researched, all green “living” things are going to be higher in enzyme content. But some have said that the chia sprouts are hairy and not very palatable.

      We eat the seeds as is, not sprouted. Our favorite is to make the Chia gel and add that to yogurt or smoothies. Mountain Rose Herbs sells organic Chia seeds for a great price.

      If you’d like to try them out, just ask Jeff for a sample 🙂

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