Lately, on my quest for more natural living, I have been diligently researching seeds. Seeds, you might ask?
I can remember way back in my childhood, my dad always told us, that, when he eats an apple, he eats the entire apple---the seeds and all. Have you looked up the health benefits of apple seeds? Please do. Since my post today is not on apple seeds, I won't elaborate much, but, one health benefit that could from eating an apple seed could actually be: fighting cancer. No joke.
But, I digress....
When you hear the word Chia, I'm sure you automatically think of those darling little, "Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia" Pets, don't you?:
Well, as cute as they are, those little pets are not what I'm referring to. (Those seeds have not been approved as food by the FDA). Take a look at the first picture above and you'll see what I'm referring to. Those lovely, delicate, black (and sometimes white!) Chia seeds. Little might be known to you about the seeds' tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties----until now!! Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods on the planet!!
Here's a little background on the Chia seed:
- For centuries, this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. It's a species of flowering plant in the mint family. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running form the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.
And here's why you should starting eating Chia Seeds:
- 30% of Chia seed oil is Omega 3 oil.---The BEST source of Omega 3. 10% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. This is the perfect balance of essential fatty acids. Even better than the Flax seed!!
- When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, Chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This is also an EXCELLENT reason that Diabetics should starting eating Chia seeds.
- They are so rich in antioxidants, that, the seed doesn't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.
- They DO NOT have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body.
- They provide fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc.
- They also have a high content of protein (up to 23%) and are easily digested, which results in rapid transportation to tissues and fat utilization by cells.
- Chia seeds are also very good for our little ones--because of their fast and efficient assimilation when rapid development of tissue is needed to take place, for example, during growth periods in children.
- Chia seeds are highly hydrophillic, meaning they can absorb large amounts of water. They can hold 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies.
- Chia Seeds are Gluten free, so they are great for individuals with Celiac Disease.
Chia seeds have a nice, nutty flavor and can be eaten by the spoon-fuls if you'd like, or, you can add them to your daily diet. We like to add them to our smoothies, yogurt, salads, sandwiches and so on!! We buy them at a local health food store, but, I have recently researched some cheaper outlets, online.
Remember, this is not professional or medical advice, but I URGE you to incorporate the Chia seed into your diet today!!