I was introduced into Chia seeds many years ago in Mexico when I purchased a juice of mixed fruits in a small street shop called “Palacio de los Jugos”. The very nice man asked me if I would like to add honey and Chia, so I said “Si” with a big smile, no idea what he was talking about. Mmmm, yummy! I was intrigued by the rich and emulsifying little black seed since and I learned that there are so many more reasons why you would like to add Chia seeds into your diet:
1. Chia seeds provide steady energy!
This tiny greyish seed has the power of superfoods. Chia is one of nature’s highest plant based sources of complete protein. Often proteins from items like beans or peanut butter are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get the benefit. Not Chia! It’s protein is complete and very easy available. The combination of its protein, minerals and oils all work together to make you a steady and consistent energy.
2. Chia boosts energy!
High amount of precious Phosphorus aids like an energy spark and fuel to the muscles. Chia helps to develop tissue, due to its incredible nutrient profile and easy assimilation. Athletes healing from injuries, bodybuilder who need to build tissues and also women who are pregnant and breast feeding.
3. Real age defying anti-oxidants
There are numerous products claiming high anti-oxidants, in fact it became a marketing tool for a lot of good quality stuff but also a lot of – let’s call it medium quality stuff. Chia is extremely high in high quality anti-oxidants. Chia seeds can stay fresh for about 2 years at room temperature where all other seeds and grains give up. This amazing ability is not found in seeds like flax, sesame, or cacao, their oils would go rancid. Superman Chia is built in its unique way.
4. Weight Loss without Starving
Chia seeds are a dieter’s dream come true, you can add them to literally any food and you won’t change the taste: yoghurt, creams, salads, fruits, juices, green smoothies, dips, salad dressings, soups, sweet and savory dishes. The unique gelling action keeps you feeling full for hours. You can feed yourself a smaller portion and Chia will help you to keep your energy level stable. When Chia seed is exposed to water and liquids, it forms a coating of gel, increasing its size and weight. Since the gel is made of water, it has no additional calories. When other diet-fiber-drinks break up during digestion, this little seed still holds on to its gel! You won’t feel hungry.
5. Speaking about fiber!
With the abundance of over processed foods and white flour on the market rich sources of fiber are harder to come by. Irregularity, bloating and constipation are risky long term conditions. To help ensure regularity, you need plenty of fluids and plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. Chia seeds provide both! Chia seeds are coated with soluble fibers which aid their gelling action. The exterior of the seed is protected by insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber works like a gel pack, helping the food moving smoothly through the digestive process. Soluble fiber and gel coating of the seed hydrate the colon and ensure the easy movement of the food.
6. Blood sugar level for rescue!
Blood sugar may spike after meals, when food combinations are conflicting, especially in high sugar or high starchy foods or poor food choices. You feel tired fast or crave for stimulants, which then lead to a roller coaster of high and low energy that can wear you out.
When you add Chia seeds to your meal, the combination of the soluble and the insoluble fiber slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars. By balancing your blood sugar you not only lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, but also ensure steady constant energy, simple wellbeing!
7. Healthy OMEGA 3s and other good oils
Most of the advertising for Omega 3s promotes fish and cod and krill oil …… what if you don’t want to eat fish, are concerned about the dead fishing of our oceans or simply vegetarian?
Again, our little grey seed provides the best oils and the best ratio with the minerals to fulfill its task. Omega 3 has been shown to be important for healthy heart and healthy cholesterol levels. Studies show that including omega 3s support overweight dieters to lose weight.
8. Substitute oils and butters
Did you know that Chia gel could substitute half of oil and butter in any baked goods? The food will bake the same and taste the same (or maybe better) and I often think that it is moister and keeps longer fresh. Everything from cookies to cakes, muffins and pancakes can be made with Chia gel as your butter replacement.
A personal note: one problem with a lot of gluten free recipes is the huge amount of eggs which are in baked goods. Egg yolk is the perfect food for unborn chicks, the hormonal levels interfere with our human hormonal system. Many people suffer from inflammations and hormonal imbalances. When you choose to cut back on eggs (or skip them completely) a lot of recipes will still work if you substitute the eggs with Chia gel. Small sacrifice for a good cause!
9. Chia for Beauty!
In the traditional cultures that consumed Chia, like the Aztecs, Chia was also valued as a medicine. It was used for cleaning the eyes, helping heal wounds, and relieving joint pain.
Skin mask: Prepare a gel of Chia seeds and apply on your cleaned face as a hydrating and relaxing mask, great for any skin type.
Hair treatment: Add banana, avocado or lemon juice to a gel of Chia seeds and prepare a non-oily hair mask, after coloration, sun damage and when your hair needs hydration.
First Aid: Apply gel of Chia on scars to aid healing.
10. Chia, a “modest” superfood.
Chia is very inexpensive: Chia can be grown without chemicals and heavy water irrigation, it does not require fertilizations. One or 2 Tablespoons a day save you precious dollars for diet pills, supplements, or beauty aids. It does not get any easier!