Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cha, Cha, Cha, Chia

Remember that song?  Who would have thought that those little seeds would be considered a Super Food?  I have learned that Chia seeds are pretty super!  I've listed some benefits below:
  • 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.
  • You do not need to grind the chia seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds.
  • The chia seeds are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
  • Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.
  • The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!
  • Chia seeds provide antioxidant activity (side note - Researchers believe that antioxidants can lower blood pressure, open up arteries, slow the aging process, stop the growth of tumors, and improve neurologic function. This means they fight cancer, heart disease, and neurological processes such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Our cells, including skin cells, age more slowly. Brain waves slow down and enhance calmness and sleeping).

I just throw Chia seeds into my Vita Mix and add them to my smoothies.  You can 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 these seeds into your daily routine!  Enjoy!

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