Fit Food Friday – The Chia Seed

Ch-ch-ch-chia!  Who can forget those commercials?  Pasting on the goop and the watching it grow!  How fun …. And who knew decades later we would be eating – AND LOVING – those crazy little seeds.

 

The little seed — which comes in either white or a dark brown and black color — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled (unlike flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits).

Ok – so really how good are they for you?

 

Get more Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids  with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving – these fats are important for brain health.

 

Add Some Fiber
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fiber — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults.   Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fiber, which is important for digestive health.

 

Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

 

Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.

 

Fight Belly Fat
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tiedd to an increase in belly fat.  This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

 

Get Full Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

 

Improve Heart Health
Chia may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol.  All good news for your ticker!

 

Now that you know how good the little seeds are for you here are a few ways to use them.

 

  1. Sprinkle them over your morning bowl of oatmeal or fruit to add a nutty crunch.
  2. Add them to your smoothies. A few teaspoons and blend away.
  3. Add that same nutty crunch you did to breakfast to your salad at lunch. Yummy!
  4. My FAVORITE way to use them is to make a pudding. I could eat this for breakfast, as a snack or as dessert depending on what you add to it.  Here is a basic recipe that I use:

2 cups coconut (almond, soy, rice etc) milk
1/3 cup chia seeds if you like it thicker, add more
1 tablespoon Agave or sweetener of choice, date syrup, coconut nectar, stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour chia seeds in 2 cup of milk.  Mix well and let rest 10 minutes. Blend with a wire whisk to break up any lumps and let rest another 10 minutes. Wait another 10 minutes and whisk again. Add sweetener and extract and blend in. Mixture will firm up overnight in refrigerator.

From this basic recipe you can take it anywhere!  Add berries – cacao powder – other flavoring – again the possibilities are endless!

 

I hope you try this amazing little seed and enjoy all the you can do with it.  (And if you feel like growing your own little pet – do that as well!)  Put good things in and ENJOY!

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