Native Americans consumed the seeds of the chia plant for hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans. Chia was cultivated or gathered by the Aztecs, Mayans, and other Native Americans. In most of these cultures, chia was a staple food considered to be sacred, and was consumed specifically for greater energy by runners, warriors, and athletes.”Chia” is even the Mayan word for “strength”, and Chia seeds used to be referred to as “Indian Running Food” because they are so energizing.
- Chia is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, niacin.
- Contains all essential amino acids
- Vitamins B, D & E.
- 20% protein by weight
- More digestible protein than beans, soy or peas.
- 8.7 times the omega-3 in wild atlantic salmon.
- 5.4 times the calcium in 2% milk.
- 2.7 times more iron than raw spinach.
- More antioxidants than blueberries.
- Mucin – reduces inflammation in digestive tract <———Good for Crohn’s!!
Low In Sodium and Cholesterol-Free
Chia contains less than half the sodium of flax seed, per serving. This is important to those with high blood pressure and concerned about sodium intake. As a plant-based source of Omega-3, Chia is cholesterol-free.
One of the exceptional qualities of the Chia seed is it’s ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. Its ability to hold on to water offers prolong hydration. Fluids and electrolytes provide the environment that supports the life of all the body’s cells. Their concentration and composition are regulated to remain as constant as possible. When you eat chia seeds there is a greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids, and the electrolyte balance is maintained.
Helps in Weight Loss
Chia is very filling. As more Chia is eaten, there’s less room for fattening foods.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Chia Seed reduces blood glucose swings and supports conditions of hypoglycemia and diabetes. Chia’s soluble fiber exerts a stabilizing influence on blood glucose levels by regulating the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and assimilated in the body. This creates steady, stable blood glucose levels…which also means steady, high energy levels.
The Mayan word for Chia is “strength.” Chia builds stamina and endurance because it steadily releases slow-burning glucose into the bloodstream.
Chia has a high energy to weight ratio, (more than wheat, corn, rice or oats) that makes it a favorite choice of long distance runners and other athletics.
Source of Fiber
Chia seed produces a thick mucilage in water, absorbing up to 30 times its weight in water. This soluble fiber cleans the intestines by binding and transporting debris from the intestinal walls so that it can be eliminated efficiently and regularly. A daily dose of chia seed provides an excellent fiber source and most people notice a difference in less than a week.
As a source of protein, Chia seed is digested and absorbed very easily. This results in rapid transport to the tissues and utilization by the cells. This efficient assimilation makes the Chia very effective during periods of rapid growth, as in children and adolescents. Chia is also helpful for the growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation, and for regeneration of muscle tissue for athletes, weight lifters, etc.
Unlike typical grain-source proteins, chia protein contains no gluten. Chia is an ideal food for individuals having gluten sensitivity, carbohydrate intolerance, hypoglycemia, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, or for anyone wishing to avoid common gluten-containing grains like corn, barley, and wheat.
Chia contains the usual Vitamin C, ferulates, and Vitamin E. The real secret is the Cinnamic acids that guard the omega-3 oils from oxidation. This is why chia is a stable product for years! Unlike flax seed, chia seed can be stored at room temperature for 4-5 years.
Superfood for People with Food Allergies
Chia seed is great superfood for all people, including individuals exhibiting food allergies, food sensitivities, or food and chemical hypersensitivity. One study found no evidence of allergic response to chia, even among individuals having peanut and tree nut allergies.
How to use Chia Seeds:
Mix Chia seeds into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal in the morning, add to salads, or even add them to your baking. There are many ways to add chia seeds into your daily routine. Chia seed drinks can be prepared simply by adding water, fruit juice, or stock broths, etc. Not only will it increase the nutrients of whatever food it’s prepared in, its absorbency makes the natural flavor of the broths or soups even richer.
Chia Protein Pudding Recipe here
Chia Gel: One of the most common ways to consume Chia seeds is to make a Chia gel. To make Chia gel, place 1/3 cup Chia seeds into a sealable container, add 2 cups of water, and whisk briskly. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and then whisk again before placing into the refrigerator. The mixture will turn into a gel, and will last up to 3 weeks, if refrigerated. The recommended dosage is 3 Tablespoons 3 times per day, and the gel may be incorporated into jam, cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or any other foods for consumption. One pound of Chia will make approximately 24 cups of gel, which will last over a month, if consumed at the recommended amount of 3 tablespoons of gel 3 times per day.
…if you are into Organic good-for-you skin products check out this line I just discovered. This has chia as the star ingredient. Chia can be great for your skin too – who ever knew?