Monday, April 1, 2013

Do You Know Chia Seeds?

Have you ever heard of the Chia Seed?
Did you know that there was such a seed? 
When I first heard it the jingle for the "Chia Pet®" immediately hit my brain.

I just recently discovered some very interesting information regarding the benefits of these little gems. Benefits that I whole heartedly believe must be shared for all to reap the rewards they hold.  And at just under $7 a pound, that's a ton of seeds, they aren't too pricey!

My favorite way to consume them is in a smoothie...and the kids don't mind it either.  There really are a ton of ways that you can enjoy chia seeds.

Interesting facts:
1) Are a Super Food.  They are one of the most versatile super foods in the world! Full of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3.
2) Aid in the removal of toxins from the body.  The gel that is produced from these little seeds help to encase toxins and move them through your system for easy elimination.

3) Help in weight loss. They are a very popular tool in the aid of weight loss.  These tiny seeds help to reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food you intake from being absorbed into your system.
4) A great filler.  They absorb water (up to 10x their weight) to create a bulky gel which fills you up.
5) Reduce blood pressure.  Evidence suggests that they can aid in lowering blood pressure.
6) More protein, fiber and calcium than flax seeds.  They are also easier to digest than flax seeds so there is no need to grind them up.
7) Rich in Omega-3.  They are the richest plant source of Omega-3, containing even more than Atlantic Salmon! (Omega-3 is the vital fats that protect against inflammation.)  If you are like my husband & myself and don't prefer to eat salmon, this is great news!
8) Rich in Antioxidants.  They contain more antioxidants that fresh blueberries!
9) Rich in Fiber.  They contain more fiber than bran flakes.
10) An energy booster.  Not only do they give you an energy boost, they also give you stamina and endurance!  Because of this they were part of the Mayan & Aztec warrior's diets. 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. It is said that 1 tablespoon of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours.

40 Ways to Use Chia Seeds
Dr. Mehmet Oz says, "The truth is, chia seeds are actually good for you -- we're talking really good for you!  In fact, they just may be one of the healthiest things around.
Here's why:   Nutty tasting whole-grain chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and they have among the highest antioxidant activity of any whole food -- even more than fresh blueberries.  And they do good stuff for the body like keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control.  The chia seeds you get in a "Chia Pet®" have not been approved as food by the FDA, so get yours from a health-food store, or order some online.  RealAge recommends two daily doses of about 20 grams each (a total of 1.5 ounces, or just less than 2 tablespoons)." (Excerpt from
Nutrition expert Dr. Weil said, "A healthful and interesting addition to my diet. My prediction? You will begin to see chia being added to more and more commercial products, such as prepared baby foods, nutrition bars, and baked goods." gives the following description of chia seeds:

"Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium
Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel." 
Caution: If you have food allergies (especially to sesame or mustard seeds) or are on high blood pressure medications or blood thinners, you should ask your health care provider before adding chia to your diet.

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