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November 1st, 2016

Ch, Ch, Ch, CHIA!

by Dr. Jade Dellinger

Chia seeds are a magical food that need their time in the spot light!  I’ve been using chia in my protein shakes for awhile now, knowing they were a super food, but never knowing ALL the benefits they possess.

Chia seeds originated in Mexico where they were viewed with such admiration they were even used as currency.  The Aztecs used chia to sustain their energy while running long distances or during battle.  They would say a spoonful would give them enough endurance for 24 hours.  This all makes sense since In the Mayan language, chia means “strength”.

Chia seeds are filled with everything from Omega 3’s, protein, fiber , vitamins, minerals AND antioxidants.  Due to their content, they have a vast array of health benefits.

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

  • Digestive Health – Due to the high amount of fiber alone, chia seeds will help with digestion.  The appropriate amount of fiber will help with regular bowel movements and help keep you full longer.
  • Heart Health – Chia seeds have been known to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation.  They are also high in Omega 3’s which are extremely beneficial for your heart.  Because they are high in Linoleic acid, they help absorb your fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K if they are taken together!
  • Bone Health – Chia seeds are high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein.  All of these nutrients are essential for bone health.
  • Fight Breast and Cervical Cancerstudy in the Journal of Molecular biochemistry found that ALA limited the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancer.  Guess what’s high in ALA? Chia Seeds!
  • AND MORE!  The more I research Chia, including their ingredients the more benefits I find!

How to make Chia Seeds?

  • Ground Chia – This is my favorite way.  I add ground chia to my protein shake in the morning.  You could add this to oatmeal, cereal and shakes!
  • Full Seed – you can soak the chia seeds in water, or a milk substitute.  They soak up anywhere from 10-15 times their volume in liquid.  THis is great for chia pudding (add in fruit),
  • Mix with Sauces, omelets, pancake mix
  • Use as a thickener for stews
  • And more!

The one warning I can give about chia seeds is if you use the whole seed without soaking it, it can cause dehydration.  The seeds want to absorb liquid, and if it’s not absorbing liquid in the food, it will absorb it from you!

Do you have recipes you would like to share? How do you incorporate chia into your daily routine?  If you have questions or concerns regarding your diet and nutrition, please contact our office.  Mention this blog for 10% off a supplement of your choice!

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