I’m in love with chia… what can I say. Not only is it a full spectrum nutritional powerhouse, but there’s just something about it that keeps me feeling better than usual every time I have it.
For centuries chia was prized by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. It was a true staple food, and a special key in the Aztec warrior’s diet. It’s been documented that warriors subsisted on chia seeds during battles and long hunting expeditions. Basically what this is telling you is that this food can truly sustain you and help you to thrive during long periods of stress (I guess this is why I’m so in love with it).
The first factor in chia’s resilience and value as a superfood is its excellent ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s likely the highest natural source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).
ALA is a building block for the transformation of EPA into DHA, which basically means that it’s a POTENT brain food!
Chia boasts a remarkable ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s at a 3:1 ratio respectively. This is so important in our world today where approximately 90 percent of American adults are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are critical for heart health, neurological health, joint health and more. Additionally, a diet too high in Omega 6’s has been found to cause severe problems in all of those systems. The solution: Add more chia seeds to your diet.
Chia is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids. This is very rare for a seed or nut to be a complete protein, but you find it here in chia at19 to 23 percent by weight. This type of highly-digestible protein provides your body with the structural building blocks to regenerate itself.
The most notable quality of chia seeds are their exceptional gel-forming ability. In order for chia to protect itself in dryer climates, it comes equipped with a mucilloid gel that’s unlike any other food known. The closest thing is flax seeds, but chia is able to absorb 2 times as much water as flax. Chia is hydrophilic (water-loving) and the gel that it creates when introduced to liquid is very soothing and regenerative to the gastrointestinal tract.
Chia’s gel-forming ability is also the reason that it’s able satiate the human body for longer period of time. It slows the release of nutrients into your system so that you get MORE nutrient uptake from the foods your eating. Plus, it literally provides a healthy “thickness” to your food that keep you feeling full, yet comfortable longer.
Here’s how to use chia for the greatest results:
Take a glass jar (mason jars work well)
Fill it 1/3 of the way with organic chia seeds
Fill the jar the rest of the way with pure water and whisk it around so that all of the seeds are exposed to the water.
Put a lid on it and store it in the refrigerator for easy use
After about 30 minutes it will form a nice gel with a pudding-like consistency. Take 3 to 4 tbsp as needed to add to your smoothies and other dishes. ALWAYS keep a sacred chia jar in your refrigerator.
Here’s my favorite variety of chia seeds: Organic Chia Seeds
Another way to utilize chia is with the traditional drink called Chia Fresca. Here’s a simple recipe:
*12 ounces of cold spring water
*1 tbsp of dry chia seeds
*2 tsp of lemon or lime juice
*A pinch of sea salt
*Raw honey to taste
Stir the seeds into the water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, stir again and enjoy. The longer it sits, the more gel it will form. Unlike other superfood seeds, chia does not have to me chewed to unlock all of its benefits.
What recipes do you use chia for? Leave a comment below and let me know.