In liquid I expand up to twelve times my size
I was a staple of Mayan and Aztec diets.
They often used me as currency, due to my many health gains-
Not to mention I’m made up of 20% protein.
I have heaps of omegas for an anytime health boost,
You can find me on the menu at Healthy Home Foods!
Alright, you already know I’m referring to Chia seeds. The worlds most omega-3 dense source of non-marine food, the Chia seed is packed with health benefits ranging from weight loss to hydration and of course, nutrition.
Chia seeds for nutrition-
This little seed (to the naked eye comparable to a poppy seed) is jam packed with essential nutrients. The USDA says that one ounce of Chia seeds include the following:
9 grams of healthy fat,
5 milligrams of sodium,
Anti-oxidants for heart health
A full range of b-vitamins
11 grams of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble)
4 grams of protein
18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium (5x more than milk!)
Boron (to aid in absorbing the Calcium)
Chia seeds for hydration-
Keep in mind that one ounce of Chia seeds is about 2 tablespoons. When introduced to a liquid, the Chia seed has an amazing ability to absorb up to 12 times it’s weight. After soaking in water or almond milk (my favorite) for a few hours, that one ounce magically expands to a gelatinous pudding the size of a Coca-Cola can.
For this reason Chia is often called a runners food. The liquid it holds in is filling and hydrates the body through the digestive process. The protein in Chia seeds also offers the complete array of essential amino acids needed to rebuild muscle tissue that is strained or damaged from an intense work out.
Chia seeds for weight loss-
This is an easy one.
1oz of chia seeds = 137 calories
12oz of water = 0 calories
1oz of chia seeds + 12oz of water = 12 oz of 137 calorie pudding and a very full stomach.
Personally, I prefer to mix my chia seeds with almond or coconut milk which still keeps it under 200 calories. The seeds expand similarly to tapioca and when mixed with fruit make a filling yet low calorie breakfast or anytime snack.
With 11grams of fiber per ounce, one serving of Chia seeds provide about 30% of one’s daily fiber needs. High fiber diets have been associated with lower cholesterol, regulated blood sugar levels, digestive health and an increased ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Cooking with Chia Seeds-
Sometimes people receive a 4 pound bag of chia seeds and forget any and all of the exciting recipes they planned to make with them. There are no recipes on the bag- don’t panic. Here are 4 easy ways we encourage you to incorporate chia seeds into your daily routine.
- Breakfast pudding.
As mentioned previously, simply soak the chia seeds in liquid over night or for a few hours (I prefer to use sweetened almond or coconut milk). In the winter I’ll often heat the pudding in the microwave for a minute, however, cold chia pudding is remnant of delicious, refreshing tapioca. Next, add some fresh fruits, honey and cinnamon (optional) and enjoy!
For those of you smoothie fans- try adding some chia seeds to the mix. I have done this in two ways: pre-soaked in coconut milk (yum!) and plain, in their raw form. This is a low calorie way of adding protein and omegas to your smoothies without adding a weird aftertaste.
- Sprinkle it on.
Chia seeds are a great addition to, well, anything. From oatmeal to salads, they add nutrients and expand during the digestive process making you feel fuller, faster. I would recommend, however, limiting the amount of raw chia seeds added to your meal to a “sprinkle”. Due to the seed’s extreme ability to absorb any liquid it comes in contact with, too many dry chia seeds can take you from full to uncomfortably full in no time.
Baking with Chia seeds can eliminate the need for eggs when used as a binding agent. When in their “gel” form, they can also be used in place of butter to maintain that delicious ooey, gooey texture in baked goods. For example, if a recipe calls for 8 cups of butter and you are looking to cut back on fat, try 4 cups of butter and 4 cups of a water/chia mixture. Lastly, chia seeds are a great filler for just about anything baked. In their raw form, or gel form, chia seeds boost up the nutritional value without sacrificing taste.
Healthy Home Foods carries 100% organic Chia seeds in 16oz packages. Don’t forget to add them to your next order!
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