Healthy Living Magazine

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Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that's native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs. It's remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America.  In recent years Chia seeds have been rediscovered as a nutrient dense powerhouse that can boost your energy because they are rich in protein – a 28 gram serving has 4.4 grams of protein, vitamins, minerals-important for healthy bones and teeth, and omega3 fatty acids – nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving.

One of the great secrets of Chia seeds is that they contain both soluable and insoluble fiber which benefits both elimination function and reduces excess cholesterol. A one ounce serving of chia seeds has 11 grams of dietary fibre.

Chia's stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance tied to an increase in belly fat and cardiovascular issues. Chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol.

These tiny super food seeds are the reason Chia Pets get their lush coats.

The seeds are tasteless so they won't affect the flavour of your food, making them easy to add to your meals. Both the white and black seeds are good choices, but avoid either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds as these are weed seeds.

Here are some ways you can add them into your diet:   

  • Thickener. Add ground or whole seeds to soups and sauces to thicken them up.
  • Add seeds to any smoothie recipe for a smooth, thick, delicious, and nutrient-dense beverage.
  • Stir into cooked lentils.
  • Add to nut butters and granola.
  • Straight up or Sprouted. Sprinkle whole on top of salads or toast and eat as a snack.
  • Sprouted. Sprouting unlocks the nutrients. Add to sandwiches, wraps and salads. Simply soak them in water for a few minutes, drain; and then rinse and drain them every 12 hours for about 2 days. A sprouting jar or a jar with a screen top makes this easy to do.
  • Power Gel. Combine 2 tsp chia seeds with 1 cup coconut water and in ten minutes you have an energy gel that will supply plenty of stamina for any run. Add a bit of honey to sweeten.
  • Gel Topping. Soak chia seeds in fruit juice to make a flavorful gel for topping your favorite desserts.

Marlene Marshall, ROHP, RNT. 905-294-9720. info@healthhouse.ca

 

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