What are Chia Seeds ?

What are chia seeds?If you are like me you grew up watching the commercial Chia Chia Pets. The cute little pottery that grows chia seed for hair. That is the same seed now we are seeing it make a come back but only in the seed form.

This little whole grain is an ancient health food that was used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a main energy source.

So what makes this new super food so special? They deliver a greatest amount of nutrients for just a small caloric price.

Fiber is a dietary necessity that many Americans don’t seem to get enough of on a daily bases.  Chia seeds offer 11 grams of fiber per ounce. This is about 41 percent of the recommended daily value in just one serving.  Chia seeds pack a punch of omega-3s and omega-6s. These little seeds offer anywhere from three to six times more calcium than milk, per serving. With osteoporosis on the rise, this is an important nutrient to help build strong bones and prevent injuries in the future.  Protects the body against free radicals, antioxidants are another nutrient that  chia seeds are good for.The chia seed is a complete protein. Chia will allow you to do better during your training sessions and help you build muscles.  Chia seeds are known as the "Indian Running Food". Also, the ancient Aztec warriors used chia seed during their conquests.

Chia and Pregnancy Foods containing omega-3 include fatty fish, flax seeds, nuts and chia seeds. Unlike fish, with plant-based foods there are no worries about ingesting metals such as mercury; and unlike flax seeds, which must be ground to get full benefits from eating them, chia seeds can be eaten whole and contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

How to add chia to your diet

Add chia seeds to salads. Stir them into pre-made or homemade salad dressings. Sprinkle chia seeds on top of cottage cheese or into tuna, chicken or egg salad. Stir chia seeds into your prepared oatmeal or warm breakfast cereal. Add a tbsp. of chia seeds to your pancake, waffle or muffin batter. Sprinkle them on top of cold breakfast cereals. Mix the seeds into yogurt. Sprinkle seeds on top of peanut butter on toast. Blend a tbsp. of seeds into your morning smoothie.

 

Here is a great Chia Muffin recipe from DR Oz

Chia Muffins Ingredients 2 tbsp ground chia seeds 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour ( I used gluten free flour) 2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup sweet potato purée ( I used pumpkin puree) 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce 2 eggs 1/2 cup agave syrup 2 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1/4 cup dried cranberries or Goji berries

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup  walnuts

1/4 coconut flakes

Directions Mix together wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350˚F.