Friday, May 13, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Chia

Some of you may be "in the know" about chia seeds, especially if you are a Dr. Oz fan. Some of you may know of the chia seed as the seed planted inside an animal-shaped pot, where the chia sprouts the fur or hair of the animal. Others may be thinking, "what is chia?"

Well, for those of you who are in the last two categories, let me inform you all about this incredible seed, for which I have the most profound respect. First of all, let me tell you about my own experience today, which I found very interesting. I made some muffins, which I will give you the recipe for, and found that after one, with no breakfast, I wasn't very hungry. I thought maybe, for some reason, I just wasn't too hungry today. I also noticed, my digestion sped up a bit, I won't go into detail on that. I didn't attribute this to the chia seeds in the muffin until I researched the benefits of chia seeds.

Here is the low-down. First of all, I found that the soluble fiber in chia seeds soaks up tons of water, so what does that mean? It is something referred to as the "gelling" action. It expands in your stomach, holding water, which has no calories, and makes you feel full because your stomach is full of these expanded seeds. Pretty cool, huh. Also, they are LOADED with anti-oxidants...even more so than blueberries! They aid in keeping blood sugar low by slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars in your body. This means that they are broken down much slower and release a more consistent flow of energy into your body. Cool, huh. For regularity, they have both soluble and insoluble fiber. Remember those Omega 3 fatty acids (good for heart and cholesterol) that you get in fish? Well, Chia is the richest plant-source for Omega-3 fatty acids! They are loaded with protein, vitamins A,C,D and E, copper, iron, iodine, and many more.

So...needless to say, we will be adding these to our green smoothies from now on and I'll be baking with them in pancakes, waffles, etc. You can grind them, like flax, and throw them in recipes. I'm going to try them in my Whole Wheat Barley Flax pancakes. I'll tell you how they turn out. Well, enough about chia. If you are interested, do your own research. I'll have some recipes to come because I intend to start feeding these super seeds to my family on a much more regular basis.

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