Chia seed is a little thing that can make a HUGE difference in your diet. by Ashley Kurtenbach
When you hear the word Chia, the ch-ch-ch chia jingle probably comes to mind…well you aren’t too far off. Allow me to spill the “seeds” on this topic; these seeds have so many benefits jam-packed into their tiny shells. Just one tablespoon a day can provide more calcium than milk, a good source of protein, more fiber than flax seed, amino acids, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds can aide as an important part to your diet, helping you be at less risk of disease and illness.
This isn’t a new fad, but more or less a thing of the past that has been forgotten about and slowly resurfacing. Chia seeds have been around for years and have been used in the past to stay hydrated and build endurance, and now they can be used as for the same purposes.
How can Chia seeds these benefit you?
When eating these little seeds or when placed in water they expand into a gel-like form and hold up to 12 times their weight in water. Therefore, they can be consumed in the gel form (chia seeds take approximately 10-30 minutes in water to fully form into gel substance) or consume them and allow the absorption to take place in the stomach. If you prefer to eat them in the gel form, make them ahead of time and place in the refrigerator, as the gel will stay good for 2-3 weeks, then eat them as desired.
Welcome dieters to a dream come true these tiny wonders keep you full longer not only because of their expansion, but also the fiber in the seeds plays a key role in the digestion system and works as a housekeeper for your digestion tract by keeping it clean, which is important to weight loss.
For diabetics eating chia seeds mixed in with food can assist in regulating blood sugar levels after a meal. What that means for non-diabetics is the process of turning carbohydrates to sugar is slower with chia seeds and can prolong the use of carbohydrates, giving you more energy and endurance which is crucial for working out.
When taken on a regular basis, these seeds can help in building muscle and repairing injuries by reforming tissues due to their high level of protein.
The make-up of the chia seeds allows them to retain moisture in your body and balance electrolytes, which keeps you hydrated. So when you are breaking a sweat at the gym these seeds are busy working to keep your cells hydrated.
If you are looking for an easy way to get added nutrients into your regular diet, consider chia seeds, with benefits such as cardiovascular health, joint function, and digestion improvement, how can you go wrong?
How They Can Be Used
- Add them to anything and everything! They have little to no taste, so it won’t ruin the taste of your food or drink.
- Substitute for egg or butter in recipes with chia gel. One tablespoon of the chia gel replaces one egg, or replace half the amount of butter for an equal amount of chia gel. (To make replacement for egg make 3 tsp. of chia seeds to 1/3 c. water to replace one egg.) Of course just like anything else, this may take some experimenting until you find what works for you.
- They are great to sprinkle on a salad, add to a smoothie, shake, or yogurt.
- Put them in any condiment of your choice, they help distribute taste and once they expand you will use less of the condiment.
Your local grocery store should carry them, any whole foods store, or online. They are sold in pre-packaged containers or you can find them in bulk bins, which will save you more money.
Recipe To Try:
Chocolate & PB Protein Pudding
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. chia seeds ½ c. milk 2 tbsp. peanut butter ½ scoop chocolate protein powder
Directions: Combine chia seeds & milk and let sit for about 15 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken.
Stir peanut butter and protein powder into chia seed mixture until combined.