Chia Seeds: The Ancient Superfood!
Chia seeds are most well-known for Chia Pets and the too-catchy jingle that may get stuck in your head. However, a lot of people don’t know that they’re edible, and they’re fantastic for your health! Chia seeds are versatile and easy to include in a healthy diet!
Chia seeds originate in South America where they have been consumed for hundreds of years. They were known as “running food” because of a unique property they contain. Chia seeds have a lot of fiber, and they absorb 10 to 12 times they’re weight in water. They create a sort of gel which is incredibly filling.
The Aztecs and Mayans grew chia seeds as a main food source, as they travelled on foot for the most part, and they needed to have a lot of energy to get around. This is where chia got the moniker “running food” because it offered sustained energy for long journeys. In fact, chia comes from the Mayan word for “strength”! Aztec people would eat chia seeds in the beginning of the day, and they would feel full for hours on end.
While you may not be running a marathon every day, you still need sustained energy! Chia seeds’ amazing absorbent property can be used both internally or externally. If you eat chia seeds as they are, they will absorb liquid in your stomach, making you feel fuller over time. This is fantastic as they are low in calories, but high in nutrients, so you can eat less but still feel full.
Chia contains protein, so a spoonful in a smoothie or salad will help you get all the protein you need. The fiber content helps support healthy digestion, which may support your metabolism. A serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, but luckily that’s healthy fat! Chia is chock full of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient.
You can also use chia’s gelling property for other foods. By soaking chia seeds in water, they take on a texture similar to egg whites. This makes them a great substitute for baking! Or similarly to rice pudding, you can soak chia seeds in milk or a milk alternative to make pudding or even a version of overnight oats! Add sweeteners, flavors, and berries to create a delicious dessert or breakfast!
Chia has a multitude of untapped potential, and you can do so much with just a tablespoon or two of seeds. You can find a link to Foods Alive’s Chia Seeds below! Whatever you decide to make with them, be sure to snap a picture and tag Foods Alive for a chance to be featured on our social media!