Chia seeds are one of the most powerful and nutritious superfoods in the world. Chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the wonderful nutritional qualities of chia seeds.
Chia seeds have more omega-3 than Atlantic salmon,
more antioxidants than fresh blueberries, more fiber than bran flakes, five times the calcium of milk, two times the amount of potassium as bananas, three times more iron than spinach and more protein, fiber and calcium than flax seed. Adding just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to your daily diet will give you approximately 7 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, and a whopping 5 grams of omega-3. Chia seeds include phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin and zinc.
Chia is an ancient superfood that is very similar to flax, but without the estrogen and phytoestrogen element. It is a great source of B vitamins including folic acid.
Chia has 3 to 10 times the oil concentration of most grains and 1 ½ to 2 times the protein concentration of other grains. The oils are the essential oils the body needs to help absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Chia seeds are energizing and give a boost of energy that lasts, providing stamina and endurance. A single tablespoon could sustain Aztec warriors for an entire day. Chia seeds reduce cravings. Because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble fiber levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate energy slowly into the bloodstream.
Chia seeds are easily digestible.
Unlike flax seed, chia seeds do not have to be ground up before you ingest them. The human body can easily digest chia seeds, and with about 7 grams of fiber per serving, they actually help digestion. Chia seeds are convenient and versatile. You can eat chia seeds straight from the bag, mix them with your favorite drink, add them to your cereal or salad, and just about anything else. Chia seeds last for years in the refrigerator.
Chia seeds do good things for the body, like keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control. The omega-3 fatty acids in chia protect against inflammation and heart disease. Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, chia seeds were a component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. They even played a role in religious ceremonies. Supposedly, 1 tablespoon of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions. It was a major crop in central and southern Mexico well into the 16th century, but it was banned after the Spanish conquest because of its association with the Aztec ”pagan” religion. Over the past few decades, commercial production has resumed.
Insects hate the chia plant, so it’s easy to find organic seeds.
Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid and don’t require grinding. You can enjoy chia seeds’ nutlike flavor by sprinkling ground or whole chia seeds on cereal or salads, blend them in a smoothie, juice or water, or create healthy, delicious dehydrated crackers or cookies. Eat a handful of whole seeds as a snack or make your own chia smoothie.
Chia Seeds have many anti-aging properties. The seeds fight free radical damage. Aging happens when damaged cells are replicated. Chia antioxidants act to neutralize the free radicals that cause premature aging and flush out age-accelerating toxins. Chia seeds help a person regain youthful exuberance, skin elasticity, enhance hair, skin and nails, lubricate joints, reduce inflammation and muscle soreness and speed rejuvenation as well as lowering lactic acid buildup in muscles.
Chia provides 97% of its calories from high quality plant protein and lipids with very few calories from carbohydrates. The carbohydrate portion of Chia is predominantly insoluble fiber, which is beneficial to digestion in that it passes through the gastro-intestinal tract undigested resulting in a non-caloric effect to the body. Gram for gram, Chia is the highest source of protein, bar none.
Banana Coconut Chia Pudding
2 ripe bananas
1 cup fresh coconut water
2 Tbs. chia seeds
Grind the chia seeds in the Vita-Mix or other high speed blender. Add the bananas and coconut water and blend until creamy. Take the mixture out of the blender and allow it to thicken. Enjoy this nutritious, delicious and easy treat.
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle® and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an Educational Center and Therapy Spa in Atlanta offering Healthy Lifestyle Courses on Nutrition, Cleansing, Healing, Anti-Aging, Detoxification, Relaxation and Cleansing Therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or
1-800-844-9876 and visit www.livingfoodsinstitute.com