The Chia seed is an ancient SuperFood used by Aztec and Mayan warriors to increase their energy and stamina, way back in 3500 B.C. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, fiber and protein. Many health experts agree that these tiny seeds are the next big thing in nutrition. In addition to protein and Omega-3s, they are packed with protein, healthy oils, fiber, disease-fighting minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. The Chia seed also has three times more calcium than milk, for an excellent non-dairy source of this bone-building nutrient.
Chia seeds can be added to just about any recipe, providing extra nutrition without changing the taste or texture. When you add chia seeds to liquid, they form a gel and absorb ten times their weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration. The seeds take on the flavors of whatever food you mix it with.
I try to eat Chia seeds every day, mixing a tablespoon or two into oatmeal, smoothies and soups, or sprinkling it on top of salads.
This month’s SuperFood at a glance; Chia seeds are:
• A complete protein with all of the essential amino acids intact. This is a great protein source!
• A super source of Omega 3 fatty acids (the same Omega-3s that we get from fish oil and flax.) Omega 3 fatty acids are well-known for controlling inflammation in your system.
• High in fiber, which helps pull toxins from the digestive system. Fiber also keeps things “moving” and makes you feel fuller, longer.
• Rich in antioxidants (more than blueberries!) which protect your cells and tissues and keep you looking and feeling YOUNG!
• A source of sustained energy and known to help relieve inflammation in the body.
• Research shows that the concentrated amount of antioxidants and Omega-3s in Chia seeds may help improve brain clarity, concentration and memory.