Chia Seeds… Really? Yup, Really!

As silly as it may seem, the newest and most exciting trend that I’ve seen in the health food world is the inclusion of chia seeds into your daily diet. Yes, that’s right: chia seeds, the very same seeds that are used to decorate cheesy household ceramic pets. At first I looked at this with a skeptic eye, but then I noticed that everyone from Dr. Oz to Dr. Weil is getting on the chia seed train.

As it turns out, chia seeds are incredible sources of so many vitamins, minerals, and other vital parts of our diet. According to recent studies, chia seeds have the same of the highest omega-3 levels of any food out there—even more than Atlantic salmon.

In addition to those wonderful omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds have more protein, fiber, and calcium that flax seeds, and are also a great source of phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and zinc.

As a result of their high nutrient content, chia seeds can help with so many of the common ailments that occur more and more commonly as we age: high blood pressure, low energy, arthritis, general inflammation, heart disease, and even diabetes.

Because chia seeds slow down the rate at which the body converts carbs into simple sugars in our bodies, new research has shown that they can significantly aid in controlling blood sugar, thereby battling diabetes. Additionally, chia seeds can block calorie absorption, helping craving reduction for those of us battling weight issues.

According to ancient documents, Aztec warriors used chia seeds to boost their energy, maintain stamina and endurance, and even build muscle tissue.

Maybe the best thing about chia seeds is their versatility: with health experts suggesting two daily servings of 20g (about 1.5oz), a variety of meals with which you can incorporate them are a must. Some of the best ideas out there include cereal, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal (see recipe below), or smoothies. Another great idea is to incorporate them into baked goods, such as breads, cookies, muffins, or pancakes.

They can also be eaten raw, added to salads, or soaked in fruit juice. One advantage that they have over flax seeds is that the body digests them much more easily —in fact, they’ve been shown to aid digestion—so there is no need to grind them up before eating them.

So, try out something new and add some chia seeds to your diet. And don’t worry—you won’t grow bright green sprouts out of your head.

Probably.

Chia Oatmeal Recipe:

1 Tablespoon of Chia seed
5 tablespoons of Organic Oats
½ of one Banana sliced or other fruit such as apple or peach
½ teaspoon of Cinnamon Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon of agave nectar or raw honey
small handful of chopped walnuts or almonds
1 ounce of coconut milk or almond milk optional
Bring one cup of water to a boil; add all ingredients to water; continue stirring for about 5 minutes or until you get nice texture. Serve with coconut milk.

Check out this recipe on Foodista too! Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding on FoodistaChocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding


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