Chia Seeds, an Ancient Superfood for Energy and Good Nutrition

Chia seeds are becoming popular with vegetarians mainly because it's the best source of Omega-3 ALA. But Chia has much more to offer. It's also high in vegetarian protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Chia seeds have been around for a long time. In fact, pre-Columbian Mayans, Aztecs, and Aztec warriors ate it because it gave them energy and strength. It was so important that it was used in Aztec religious ceremonies.

Just like the ancient Aztecs, today's athletes and runners are discovering the benefits.

According to one popular brand of Chia, it has eight times more Omega-3s than Salmon, 30% more antioxidants than blueberries, 25% more fiber than flaxseeds, 6 times more calcium than milk, 15 times more magnesium than broccoli, and 50% more folate than asparagus. Pretty impressive, no?

But that's not all. Chia has some other advantages over flaxseeds.

  • It's higher in Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Has a longer shelf life. Their high antioxidant level keeps the seeds from becoming rancid.
  • Flaxseeds have a thick husk that can not be digested, so it must be ground.
  • Unlike Flaxseeds, Chia has a neutral flavor.
  • When left in water for 30 minutes the seeds become a gel that can be used in place of oil and butter in cooking and baking.

See this detailed comparison of chia vs. flaxseeds.

Chia fresca is a popular drink in Mexico, and has now become popular with runners here in the States. To make it, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon whole chia seeds
  • 8-10 oz. purified water
  • Juice of one lime or lemon
  • Optional: Agave, honey or Xylitol to taste

Adding Chia to Your Diet is a Healthy Way to Lose Weight.

Try this: Add a tablespoon of chia to a glass of water before you eat. The fiber and gelling action of the seeds will help satisfy your hunger. You'll eat less and still feel satisfied.

Easy to Add to Your Diet

Chia can be added to juice, hot grains, and cold cereals. For a fast and super healthy start to your day, add a tablespoon or more to a bowl of organic oatmeal. Sprinkle a tablespoon of xylitol for sweetness, and add some crumbled, organic walnuts.

References

1 Salvia hispanica http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica

2 Andrew Weil, MD, "Ask Dr. Weil," Prevention Magazine, November 2006

3 Gary Null, The Complete Guide to Sensible Eating (Seven Stories Press, 2003)

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