A while back I read the book “Born To Run” and I was intrigued by the Tarahumara and their use of chia. Usually when I hear about a “super food” or read some claim about a food that will totally change your fitness or nutrition I am very doubtful. Actually, I am almost ALWAYS 100% doubtful. But Chia seemed to catch my interest as a “hmm maybe it’s true”.
It is a fact that Chia seeds were a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures, as well as the Native Americans of the southwest United States. Many of the remaining tribes still rely upon it even as we modernize their worlds.
“Chia” is actually the Mayan word for strength. The book, and the Tarahumara were convincing enough though, so I began to read more about Chia. I know many of the FitFluential Ambassadors have used Chia, so I turned to some of the blogs for reviews. All I read were positive reviews.
So then I went to the internet for further research, and here is what I can find about Chia seeds. The information below was taken from Raw Reform but there are numerous sites and research all showing similar results.
Chia Seeds have:
2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
3 times more iron than spinach
copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids
Antioxidants One advantage of chia is that because it has such a high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavour, odour or nutritional value. You can substitute chia in any recipe that calls for flax.
Mild Taste The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically. People add chia to their sauces, bread batters, puddings, smoothies and more. The flavour is retained, plus masses more nutrition is added
The ‘Dieter’s Dream Food’ Chia has been called a dieter’s dream food because when added to foods, it bulks them up, displacing calories and fat without diluting the flavour. Thus, someone can eat a typical serving, yet only consume about half the calories they might have eaten, because the food has been bulked up with chia. PLUS, the eater gets a bellyful of nutrient-rich superfood goodness, which hydrates and sustains them. Chia seeds also slow sugar absorption, are easy to digest, help keep you regular, are pretty versatile with many recipes, are gluten free, and pretty inexpensive.
How about as a non-traditional non-western medical use? I am always looking for ways to improve my colitis symptoms and any IBS issues. So it stood out to me that Chis is reported to be beneficial to the following:
- weight loss/balance
- thyroid conditions
- celiac disease
- acid reflux
- lowering cholesterol
I am also in need of a food that I can eat in the mornings of long runs and races. Smoothies have worked ok, but they leave me feeling hungry by the end of a race. I am interested in trying this out before some long runs to see if it is true. I have consistently reworked my diet to a pretty healthy one 90% of the time. This could be a nice addition.
So this is where YOU all come in.
Have you ever used Chia?
Do you like it?
Do you have a favorite recipe?
Which pet is your favorite?
I am going to order some seed very soon and I am hoping for you all to lend me a hand on the best use and best taste.
That should be all keep it simple, and keep on keepin on!