CHIA SEEDS – A TRUE SUPERFOOD by Mark James Gordon
These small seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition and have the right to be called a “superfood.” They are high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, are naturally GMO, gluten, and grain free, and contain more anti-oxidants than blueberries. The Aztecs, Mayans and Incans used Chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food. Warriors used them to sustain energy during long battles. They store for long periods, don’t have to be ground to release the nutritional benefits, and unlike flax seeds they don’t contain estrogen stimulating components.
Chia’s are great for backpacking and travel because they are lightweight and absorb many times their weight in water. Add them to your drinking water for sustained hydration. They help regulate the body’s absorption of nutrients more efficiently and aid in balancing electrolytes which is good for athletes, especially runners. You can make a quick energy gel by combining a cup of coconut water and 2 tablespoons of Chia.
FATS – Chia has more omega-3 than flax and salmon. The ALA (alpha linolenic fatty acid) that is in Chia seeds is the only known essential omega-3 fatty acid that the body can’t produce on its own.
PROTEINS – 6x more protein than kidney beans by weight
FIBER – 1 ounce of Chia adds 11 grams of fiber and has 2x more fiber than bran flakes. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar which is good for diabetics.
VITAMINS – vitamins A, B, E and D
MINERALS – copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, thiamine, alcium, and zinc. By weight Chia contains 15x more magnesium than broccoli, 6x more calcium than milk, 3x more iron than spinach, and 4x more phosphorous than whole milk
Just sprinkle them on salads, cereal, or put them in yogurt or smoothies. They sprout well for salads in a few days. Use them instead of breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf, etc. Great for thickening soups, sauces, and gravies. You can grind them into flour for baking. As an egg substitute in baking add 1 tablespoon of Chia to 3 tablespoons or water for each egg substituted.
Make a Chia gel by combining 1/3 cup of Chia to 2 cups of water. Mix thoroughly. Let it sit for 10 mins. Stores in the fridge for a few weeks. Add this to smoothies, salad dressings, jams, etc.
For quick, raw crackers just add equal parts Chia and Coconut milk and bake or dehydrate at low temperatures till dry. You can season with salt and pepper or your favorite spices for a tasty and healthy snack.
And here’s an added bonus. Since Chia’s retain water they are great for adding “bulk” to food which aids in weight loss by making you feel full.