Did you know that there’s a super food with the following qualities (in a 3 oz serving):as much omega-3 as 28 oz of salmon as much calcium as 3 cups of milk as much fiber as 1 cup of All-bran as much iron as 5 cups of spinach as much vegetable protein as 1 cup of kidney beans as much potassium as 1 banana as much vitamin C as SEVEN oranges
So what is this superfood? It’s the Chia seed; known primarily among endurance athletes it is slowly emerging in everyday life as superfood for all. Along with the above mentioned nutrient benefits, the chia seed breaks down slowly in the digestive tract, giving you energy for long periods of time. This keeps you feeling full for long periods and stabilizes blood glucose levels throughout the day.
Chia seeds are perfect for anyone who thinks they are too busy to eat good meals during the day. Because of their high fiber and protein content they serve as great “on-the-go meals” for anyone too busy to sit down and eat three square meals a day. Chia seeds can be mixed with yogurt or milk, added to smoothies, or sprinkled on salads. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not have to be ground up prior to consumption.
Since I can never find time to eat breakfast in the morning, I like to combine 1 c almond milk, ½ vanilla greek yogurt, and 1-2 tsp of the chia seeds in a shaker bottle at night and let it sit till morning. Then, I grab the bottle on my way out the door and drink it during my morning commute. The chia seeds absorb the liquid and take on a tapioca-like consistency and keep me full until lunch time.
This versatile superfood is just now gaining mainstream attention, so it can be hard to track it down. Sprouts, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods are usually good places to look.
Pick up some today and try some of these recipes this week:
- Blueberry Chia Pancakes- from NotQuiteNigella.com
Lunch and Dinner
- Chia Chipotle Bean Burger- From NPR.Org
- Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding- From DeliciouslyOrganic.net
Written by Amanda Allen, Exercise Physiologist, Hoag Executive Health