Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ASEA Healthy Wednesdays: Chia Seeds!

I decided to change my Wednesday posts to "ASEA Healthy Wednesdays" to reflect a broader focus on wellness. ASEA will still be the backbone of my approach to living a healthier life, but there are many other great things we can eat and do to increase our good health.

This week's focus is on Chia seeds. Have you heard of them? You may remember the old "ch-ch-ch-Chia" commercials from years ago. You spread a paste of Chia seeds on a ceramic animal and let them sprout. Well, Chia has come a long way since then!

I've been using Chia seeds for more than 6 years, and they are one of the easiest and least expensive superfoods you can add to your diet. Chia seeds absorb many times their weight in water, and retain it! That's what made them great for sprouting on Chia pets, and that's also what makes them so great for your health.

Why should you be eating them?

1--Chia seeds are a complete food, meaning they contain all the amino acids you need to help you digest the protein contained within them. They are very easy to digest and do not need to be ground up before use.

2--Chia seeds make you feel full, which helps you eat less!

3--Chia seeds are full of fiber, so if you have troubles with constipation, this is the best answer I've ever found! Eat 1-2 tablespoons of Chia (in or with liquids) a day and never experience the worry and discomfort of constipation again.

4--Chia seeds help you stay hydrated. That same quality of holding liquid that made them great for sprouting on Chia pets makes them even better for your body! Marathon athletes have been using Chia gel (just Chia seeds in water or liquid) for years to help them maintain hydration.

5--Chia seeds are nutrient dense, meaning they give you tons of nutrition for very little cost and trouble.

1 ounce (about 2 tbsp) of Chia seeds provides:

    Fiber: 11 grams.
    Protein: 4 grams.
    Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
    Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
    Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
    Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
    Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
Less amazing but still important amounts of Zinc, Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2 can also be found in Chia seeds.

(nutrition information courtesy of Authority Nutrition)

I add Chia seeds to my protein shakes, dip my fruit in them, put them on salads, and add them to tea. There are all kinds of recipes out there for Chia seeds, but I think finding a way to incorporate them into what you already eat makes the best change in diet.

Chia seeds are easy to find--check your local grocery store or health food store. You can even buy them on amazon.