Friday, February 22, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-Chia Seeds! {FabHealthFriday}

"Long ago, before the Spanish conquest of Latin America – and well before the Ch-ch-ch-chia Pet was born – chia seeds were a staple food, like corn and beans, in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans. Chia actually got its name from the Mayan word for “strength.”
 Aztecs and Mayans consumed chia seeds regularly, grinding them into flour, pressing them for oil and drinking them mixed with water. At this time in history, chia seeds were considered to be almost 'magical' because of their ability to increase stamina and energy over long periods of time.
After the Spanish conquest of Latin America, chia seeds and their benefits became somewhat eclipsed, as the Spanish introduced their own foods and prohibited the farming of chia. Now, as modern scientists and nutritionists are recognizing the extreme lack of certain nutrients in the standard American diet, they are looking to history for natural solutions, including chia. Because of this, it is regaining popularity and its benefits are becoming known to modern America.

The chia seeds are “super” because, like a superfruit, they deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories. They have several of the same benefits as the more well-known “super seed” flax, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and much more – even protein! Chia absorbs up to 12 times its own weight and expands to curb your appetite, so adding just an ounce or so of chia seeds to your diet can reduce caloric intake and help lower the energy density (or calories) of foods, plus double the amount of fiber you receive."  (Information source)
If you haven't guessed by now what we're going to talk about today, it's the fabulous little chia seed.
Part of the Bulk Herb Store order we got recently (read about it here), I have just started adding it to my diet. My favorite way to have it is to throw a teaspoon of the tiny seeds in a salad, with almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and fresh greens from the garden; topped with my homemade Italian vinaigrette.
They are hardly noticeable in the salad because they are just so teeny! So it's not trouble at all getting them in my body.
Here are some of the many, abounding health benefits of chia seeds:
1. Helps with weight loss/maintaining a healthy weight.
2. Boosts metabolism and stamina.
3. Is a good source of calcium.
4. EXCELLENT source of essential omega 3 fatty-acids. In fact, chia seeds have more of this than salmon which is famous for high omega 3 fatty-acid content.
5. Great source of potassium.
If you are an athlete or distance runner you will definitely want to add chia seeds to your diet. Many marathon runners now swear by them. They’ve been known to provide surges of energy during and after a workout.  Being a distance runner myself, I can say I certainly am interested in getting extra energy during my runs!
You can eat chia seeds both raw (like I do in my salads) or in cooked items like breads and just about any other food product.  You can eat them by themselves, or mix them into  yogurt and even ice cream or pudding! The possibilities are endless.
If you're convinced you need to try some of these amazing little seeds, the Bulk Herb Store has some for sale for a pretty reasonable price.
Happy Friday!

No comments:

Post a Comment