Chia is making a huge splash as the next great superfood so we thought it was worthy of a Superfood Spotlight. Here is all you need to know about Chia.
What is Chia?
Chia is a seed that can be eaten in a number of ways either whole, in powder form, or as a gel that develops when the seeds are soaked in water. You want to look for either the black or white seeds to reap the health benefits.
Chia is tasteless which means you can pretty much add them to anything without the fear of those frowny faces staring up at you from the dinner table. You can also grow Chia sprouts from the seeds.
You really can’t go wrong with something that is packed with health benefits but has no flavour to change the taste of foods you serve to your family every day.
Best Uses for Chia
You can sprinkle Chia seeds whole on just about anything including a slice of toast with peanut butter or cream cheese. If you are worried about the kids catching wind because they can see them, fear not. You can also grind them to use as a powder. In this form, they work very well as a thickening agent in stews and can also be used in place of breadcrumbs in meatballs. Try throwing them in smoothies or toss with breadcrumbs to make homemade chicken fingers or crusted fish.
For a fresh addition to sandwiches and salads, grow the seeds into tender sprouts.
Chia seeds can also be soaked in water to create a tasteless gel that is used in pudding recipes and smoothies.
Health Benefits of Chia
Are you ready? This is a long list, hence all the Superfood hype:
Diabetes: Chia can help prevent blood sugar spikes as well as slow down digestion. Therefore, Chia is being studied as a possible treatment for Type 2 Diabetes.
Fibre: You know you need it but it can be a challenge to eat enough. Because Chia is tasteless, it is perfect sprinkled on food for the whole family and 28 grams will give you a third of your recommended daily intake of fibre. You can do that with your eyes closed and you won’t have to ask the kids to close theirs because they won’t be able to taste it.
Omega 3: Another miracle cure-all, Omega 3 is prevalent in Chia seeds with close to five grams in a 28 gram serving. This is great brain food, so eating it is, well, a no brainer.
Dental and Bone Health: Chia is also an excellent source of calcium, perfect for teeth and bones. A single serving gives you 18 percent of your daily calcium and 30 percent of your manganese.
Manganese might not sound familiar, however it is an important nutrient as it provides what your body needs to help process nutrients such as biotin and thiamine and promotes healthy bones. Ditto for Phosphorous, which has the added bonus of assisting with providing the protein required for healthy cell and tissue growth and repair.
Protein: Chia is a good source of protein and many vegetarians depend on it in their diets. Because the seeds don’t contain cholesterol, they are an excellent source of protein with 4.4 grams in a serving.
Heart: As a Superfood that helps promote heart health, Chia improves blood pressure and also offers the double whammy benefit of increasing healthy cholesterol and lowering the bad kind.
Weight Loss: We left this to the end as we didn’t want to steal the thunder of the other benefits. Chia is a natural appetite suppressant, helps fight belly fat, and provides the stabilizing effect you need for blood sugar to assist with dieting. Enough said.
So now you know why Chia is a Superfood we love.