Remember Chia Pets? Those things that grew plants out of their head? Well, now those same seeds are the latest craze among top health consumers and celebrities alike. In fact, even girls in my sorority are flocking to the store to buy this miracle seed. I personally have been using this seed in my diet for over a year and LOVE them. But what exactly are chia seeds and what the heck do they do!?
What is Chia?
WebMD says that, “Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. “Chia” means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids (more than salmon!), carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. They also support heart health and beautiful skin, hair and nails.
Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). Chia absorbs up to 12 times its own weight and expands to curb your appetite and reduce your calorie intake. One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals. Chia also contains calcium; in fact, it delivers 18% of your daily value per ounce, which is three times more than skim milk.”
What do you use Chia Seeds for?
“The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. Chia seeds can be made into pudding, or used as an egg substitute for the vegan crowd, the same benefits can be found simply by sprinkling a teaspoon into your yogurt, oatmeal or smoothie. Some people simply add it to their water.” -WebMD
“It’s a high source of fiber. Chia will keep you fuller longer and prevent you from overeating. You have that feeling of fullness in your stomach because when you wet chia seeds, they form a gelatinous substance that takes longer to digest.” –GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN
*NOTE* Chia seeds are also found in my favorite drink GT’s Ginger Kombucha. I will do a post on these later on.
Chia Seed Recipes:
SHAPE Magazine’s Favorite Chia Seed Recipes
Gracious Pantry’s Clean Eating Strawberry Chia Seed Spread
Eat Yourself Skinny Chia Seed Quinoa Muffins
Eating Bird Food’s Raspberry Cocoa Chia Seed Pudding