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Friday, October 21, 2011

Cha Cha Cha Chia

I am referring here to the seeds..not the pets. What are Chia seeds and what am I going to do with these? I am so glad you asked!

Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family. They are a superfood. Discovered by Aztec, they were thought to hold supernatural powers.Chia was considered a running food by the Mayans for their messengers and was prized more than gold. After eating these seeds, messengers could run all day. Chia seeds absorb water and help prevent dehydration, so they are excellent for athletes.  Chia seeds expand in your stomach 9 times their original size and give you a full sensation. This is a plus for dieters!
These little seeds have been studied by researchers and have an amazing composition and amazing health benefits! The Indians were right, except that it is not supernatural, it's just another amazing creation by God :D
Chia seeds are a complete protein and are the highest fiber food available, higher that bran. This seed is as high in fiber as you can get.
You also only need about an ounce (three tablespoons) to get the benefit!! Unlike Flax seed, you don't have to grind these to get the health benefit.
I got these at Ingles

Chia Seed Benefits:

  1.  Energy Booster:There is a surge of energy and strength with chia. It is credited to the synergy of its potent properties. It was once called "Indian Running Food," according to James Scheer, eloquent author of several health books including "The Magic of Chia." 
  2. Weight Loss:Chia seeds are great for weight loss because they easily bulk up the food without changing the taste. Because the carbohydrates re released incredibly slow, it make people feel full. They also bulk up and cleanse the body of old "junk" so the body can detox and lose weight.
  3. Blood Sugar: chia, a low glycemic food, allows blood sugar to rise slowly, without a spike, keeping blood sugar controlled. It is great for diabetes control!
  4. Sleep:Chia seed contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sound sleep. The healing effects originate from serotonin, a neurotransmitter needed for tryptophan formation
  5. Inflammation:  The unsaturated fat contained in chia keeps inflammation down, providing a healthy balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  6. Lowers Cholesterol:With chia's fiber count, linoleic acid and long chain triglycerides that scrub away artery plaque, chia lowers bad LDL cholesterol and raises good HDL levels.
  7. Nutrition:  Along with essential fatty acids, chia contains minerals and vitamins that protect cells. There is as much calcium in 3 oz. of chia as there is in 2 cups of milk. Iron in 4 cups of spinach equals the same as 3 oz. of chia.
  8. Anti-Aging: Chia has 3 times more antioxidant activity than blueberries. Not only does this help you to fight disease and defy age naturally, it also keeps the chia seeds from going off like other seeds such as flax.
  9. Digestion: They are one of the best sources of fiber. They are great for colon cleansing and actually clear out the digestive tract so that you absorb more nutrients and eliminate waste more efficiently. It also prevents indigestion and heartburn without risk of harmful side effects.
  10. Cancer Prevention:Chia holds protease inhibitors that destroy cancer cells and repair DNA damage.
What to do with Chia Seeds

This is the easy part..they are tasteless and do not change the taste of what you are adding them too. On the bag that I have, it says you can just add them to your water and drink them.  I don't think that will have a good texture for me, so here is what I am adding them to...
You can sprinkle them on anything..cereal, granola, yogurt, fruit dips. You can add them to smoothies and to recipes like cakes, muffins, and breads.  You can put them in jams and jellies. It can be used as a thickening agent and a substitute for eggs when soaked. 

I am going to make me a smoothie with them later..I will post it :D

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