Day 187: Chia Seeds Are a Superfood. “Chia” Is the Ancient Mayan Word for “Strength.”

“Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is related to the mint. I have been eating this super-food for several years and credit chia seeds as one of the reasons that I normally feel 45 years old rather than 78.  Two tablespoons of chia seeds end up on my yogurt meals. I add them into almond meal-gluten free-stevia sweetened pancakes, cookies, muffins, breads and granola. I also toss them into oatmeal for addition fiber and nutrients.

Black chia seeds are more available than white seeds Experts say that there is no difference in the nutritional value in the color of the seeds.  Chia seeds are one of the most nutritious whole-grain foods on the planet and usually grown organically. Their high antioxidant content fights the production of free radicals. Free radicals contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.

I’ve summarized and quoted from this long article here for a very current view of the benefits of chia seeds:

“A one-ounce serving (about 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains:

Fiber: 11 grams.

Protein: 4 grams.

Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).

Calcium: 18% of the RDI.

Manganese: 30% of the RDI.

Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.

Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.”

They also supply zinc, niacin, potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.

Chia is a low-carb food. One ounce of chia seeds has 12 grams of carbs AND 11 of those grams are fiber which your body doesn’t digest. Chia seeds can absorb up to 10–12 times their weight in water. They become gel-like and expand in the stomach increasing a feeling of fullness. Their fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestines for maintaining health.

They supply a good balance of essential amino acids. Plus they contain more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, gram for gram. The research isn’t complete—however since chia seeds are high in fiber, protein and omega-3 s, they may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Here is one of my favorite chia seed recipes:

 Chi Pudding

1/3 cup of chia seeds

1 ½ cup milk of your choice

Stevia (my sweetener of choice)

Pinch of salt

Flavoring of your choice: ½  teaspoon vanilla or other extract—and/ or cocoa powder and /or cinnamon

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