Chia Seeds – The New Super Food?
Chia seeds are the current hot NKOTB Super Food. Botanically known by the name of Salvia Hispanica, these tiny black seeds are native to South America and are a member of the mint family.
Their recent popularity as a superfood belies their important role to ancient Aztecs &and Mayans. Prized for their ability to provide sustainable energy, Chia in fact means “ strength” in ancient Mayan.
Don’t be fooled by the size… these tiny whole grain seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Loaded with fiber, protein and omega 3.
- Fiber: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
- Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
- They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
Packed with omega 3, its good brain food and heart protective too. The high mineral (calcium, phosphorus) content promotes bone and tooth strength and the high fiber content promotes satiety that keeps hunger pangs at bay. In addition, they are also packed with antioxidants, hence helping fight cancer causing free radicals.
So how do we harness the benefits of Chia?
“Use chia seeds in foods, not as a supplement, but as an alternative to processed grains like white bread because it is a much healthier whole grain that is great-tasting in foods like muffins,” suggests Michael Roizen, MD, co-author of You Staying Young.
In the book, Roizen and Mehmet Oz, MD, recommend two daily doses, each consisting of 20 grams (a little less than 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds. The authors also note that the antioxidant activity of chia seeds is higher than any whole food, even blueberries.
Is there a downside to chia? Ulbricht cautions that 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.
The Bottom Line on Chia
Enjoy chia seeds for their flavor and to boost the fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s content in your diet. But don’t expect a big weight loss boost.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet (or seed) for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to follow a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and get more physical activity.
Source: WebMD and authoritynutrition.com
Chia Puddings are simple to make:
Just combine 1 cup liquid (low fat milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk) with 1/3 cup chia seeds and 2 tsp honey. Stir and pour into pudding/dessert bowls. Allow to set in fridge 1/2 hour. Top with fruits of choice.