The chia plant didn’t have the best introduction to the American market. (Ch-ch-chia, anyone?) But don’t be fooled into thinking that chia seeds—which are being added to everything from smoothies to cookies—are all hype. The truth is, chia seeds may be just what your diet is missing!
Chia’s Superfood Superpowers
Chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these tiny seeds, which are primarily grown in Southern Mexico and have been eaten for thousands of years, live up to their name. They’re packed with amazing amounts of goodness to keep you strong and vibrantly alive. Here are just some of the superpowers packed into the minuscule seeds. A serving boasts:
- more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon
- more calcium per ounce than milk
- more Vitamin C than an orange
- fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium
- tons of antioxidants and anti-cancer properties
Good for a Happy and Healthy Belly
Sold on chia seeds? That’s great, but there’s more: Chia seeds help balance blood glucose levels, which means they’re great for diabetics! And, when exposed to liquid (like in water, smoothies, and oatmeal), the fibrous coating outside of chia seeds and turns into a gel. This gel literally serves like a toxin-remover for your body, soaking up unhealthy particles and compounds that need to be eliminated from your system. Chia seeds have been found to improve the health of the intestinal tract and, thanks the their expanding properties and the fiber, they can help you stay feeling full for longer.
How to use Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are great additions to all smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and pudding. You can add them to just about anything so play around with where you put them. A teaspoon or two is usually plenty. Or try this recipe, which is my favorite sweet treat that serves as a killer post-workout snack:
Cacao Chia Pudding
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder (learn more about cacao here!)
1 tbsp nut butter
Optional: banana, frozen berries, protein powder, maple syrup or stevia
Combine all ingredients into a cup or blender. Stir or blend. Refrigerate, stirring every few minutes until desired consistency, for up to 20 minutes. Enjoy!
April 24th, 2014