“Chia” is the Mayan word for strength. A member of the sage family, the seeds were used by ancient South American cultures such as the Aztecs and Mayan Indians as super energy food; especially for their running messengers and warriors going into battle.
Let’s get right down to the point. Chia seeds are compact little super foods that have the potential to completely make your day into one that includes the highest version of yourself. Here’s why:
- Mega Hydration-The seed’s outer layer is rich in mucilloid soluble fiber that can absorb 12 times its weight in water. This means that by consuming soaked seeds you stay hydrated, and hold onto electrolytes otherwise lost throughout the day and during exercise.
- Chia seeds are anywhere from 19%-23% complete protein. That is as much as red meat! This means they are a great recovery food to fuel your body with after a workout. Protein is needed to repair and rebuild muscle tissue, and also helps keep you feeling full throughout the day.
- Chia seeds control blood sugar levels and reduces sugar cravings. The generous amount of soluble fiber coupled with the protein is a lot of the reason why. In your stomach, chia seed gel slows the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars and helps to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
- They also contain the highest known natural percentage of alpha-linolenic fatty acid (60-63%) in a food source. Alpha-linolenic acid is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants with powerful anti-inflammatory effects that aids in weight loss, glowing skin, a good mood, and everything in between.
- Chia Seeds are also a good source of B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, boron, and copper. They’re also loaded with antioxidants.
All of these reasons make chia seeds an ideal food to start your day off on the right track. And trust you will notice the difference.
Chia seeds have a very mild and neutral flavor. Mix chia seeds in water and within ten to fifteen minutes you will soon see a gel has formed. This gel is a great culinary tool! Try thickening soups and sauces with chia seeds. Add to salad dressings, shakes, and dips or simply sprinkle over just about anything. I really enjoy them over fresh mixed greens. But perhaps my favorite way to take advantage of the fiber rich chia gel is to make creamy puddings and pie fillings.
Here’s a delicious glow inspired recipe that can be made in advance, carried to work, and adapted in an infinite number of ways to fit your personal taste.
4 tablespoons of chia seed (any variety)
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup of kefir (substitute ½ cup of any other milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 small handful of goji berries (optional)
Whisk together all ingredients and let stand for at least 15 minutes to fully gel. Enjoy!