Remember the quirky looking chia pets that were so popular a few years back? Well, chia is back now in a perfectly edible form. This new superfood is hitting the health markets like a storm. I picked up some the other day to see what the hype was all about. I loved it ! It’s tasteless enough that it blends right into anything I make without altering the flavor and gives you all the good stuff too. This new superseed has extraordinary health benefits and is a must “add” to your diet ! Whether you want to use it to lose weight or just to get the other benefits , Chia is a BIG win !
High fiber: When ingested Chia expands 16 times in your stomach. That’s a lot of stomach room for a little a little seed to fill. Just imagine what this can do for dieters who don’t want to feel hungry. It works great to curb appetite, making you eat less. It has much higher fiber than bran or any other super seed. High fiber can also mean good blood glucose control, lower sugar spikes, relief from constipation, lower cholesterol and more. Click here to read my post on the benefits of fiber.
Calcium: Yes! Chia has calcium which other fiber supplements do not have. 2 tbsp. contain 50% more calcium than 1 glass of milk. Another great reason to include it in your diet.
Heart Healthy Omega 3: They have high healthy levels of omega 3 similar to those found in salmon and other fatty fish! Great for vegans who want omega 3 without the fish! Omega 3 is important in heart and cholesterol health.
Superior Antioxidant levels: These tiny seeds are chock-full of antioxidants which can do anything from protecting against cancer to warding off heart disease. Anti-oxidants help prevent free-radical damage in your body. The antioxidant power in chia rivals blueberries.
Complete Protein: Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter and some beans are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get the full benefit. With chia you get the whole deal” complete protein” in a seed.
Getting the Best out of Chia :
Ground chia is utilized by the body more efficiently. Eating the whole seed without grinding it will give you the fiber but not the other benefits. You can grind chia seeds in a coffee grinder or a dry grinder or purchase them ground. I buy the whole and grind them myself. That helps me control the texture. I prefer to have it a little coarse for sprinkling on muffins and real fine for my smoothies. The recommended amount is about 2 tbsp /day to get all the health benefits. If you’re not used to too much fiber in your diet, start with 1 tbsp and then increase to 2 once you feel your body getting accustomed to it.
Signs that your system is not used to fiber : bloating, gas, loose stools etc. Always drink a lot of water when you take chia seeds.
Ways to use Chia in your diet :
Use in smoothies and shakes. it blends in effortlessly. You won’t even feel the taste . great way to sneak in some extra nutrition in your family’s diet without them even knowing.
Sprinkle on yogurt, salads, sides, cereal. It adds to the dish without altering the flavor.
Add to soups, stews , sauces dips .It just blends in.
Sprinkle on muffins, cookies, bread and other baked goods. It makes the treat look yummier and adds so much more value to the dish.Chia gel can substitute for half the butter in most recipes!
Be creative ! Use chia !!! If you like this post, stay tuned. I am in the process of testing a ” Fat blasting smoothie ” on myself of course This smoothie has chia seeds, grapefruit and some fat blasing ingredients put together in a delish drink. I am trying it out on myself for 2 weeks to see how much weight I lose and then I am going to share the recipe with you! It’s going to be a winner !