Chia Super Powers


December 5, 2012

Care of Laura Wright

ChiaThese tiny seeds, like little dark grey or white poppy seeds, hold a lot of power within their unassuming exterior.

Sourced primarily from the Amazon basin and in the south of Mexico, it is believed that Aztec warriors would consume chia seeds before going into battle to enhance their endurance. That sounds like some potency right there, right? I think we can all agree that a little more power and vigour to help us rise up to the adventure of life is a great thing. Chia seeds can cover all the bases with that, trust.

OH-megas! These seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds (a known vegetarian source of omega-3s) and as a bonus, contain much higher levels of antioxidants, improving their shelf life greatly. You don’t have to grind them to enjoy the benefits either (like flax). The seeds form a gel when digested (and when added to water), making for a slow breakdown of carbohydrates and other nutrients within. Working more of these little seeds into your diet could mean a big boost in cardiovascular, immune and skin health.

Stay Hydrated: Chia seeds can absorb up to nine times their weight in water, which explains the funky tapioca-ish qualities they take on when added to liquids. Consuming them daily can really amp up your hydration efforts in the heat of summer. Similar to flax seeds, they bulk up and form a gelatinous orb around the seed when liquid comes into the picture. When you consume chia seeds in this state, you begin to feel fuller faster because of the water that they are able to soak up. Improving your digestion, keeping you hydrated and preventing some possible overeating? That’s a super seed, friends.

Protein for Pumping Up: These seeds are ultra digestible and contain over 20 percent high quality, complete protein. 1 tablespoon will get you about 4.5 grams of protein. They don’t have a terribly strong flavour, so a sprinkle in salads, granola etc. can provide an easy, high quality protein boost any time. The ratio of protein to carbohydrate content and their tendency to gel when added to liquid makes them a fantastic post-workout fuel option.

Filed under: Eat Veg elifelines Food of the Month Nutrition