Chia Pets were bought by parents for their children by the thousands. Little terracotta figurines with moistened chia seeds sprouting green growth resembling an animal’s fur or hair. While that craze seems to have abated, a new craze has sprung up – eating these little seeds touted a super food.
So what are these little seeds and are they really a super food?
Chia belongs to the mint family of plants, reported to be a staple of the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures. The seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. With sixty percent of the lipid profile containing these fatty acids, they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3’s.
They are gluten free and grain free, contain five times more calcium than milk, eight times more Omega-3s than Salmon, more antioxidants than blueberries, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, twice the potassium content of a banana, three times more iron than spinach.
This is quite impressive, right? It gets better.
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants protecting the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. And if you lose them at the back of the pantry you can rest assured you can still use them for up to two years, as they have a long storage life.
Chia seeds help balance our blood sugar levels by creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, slowing the conversion of carbs into sugar. This is excellent news for those following the Trim Healthy Mama style of eating where we want to balance our blood sugar levels.
When we eat Chia seeds, they sweep through the intestinal track, helping to dislodge and eliminate old accumulated waste in the intestines.
Still not convinced to add Chia seeds to your daily diet? This tiny seed has hydrophilic properties, absorbing more than 12 times its weight in water. This prolongs hydration, helping to retain moisture and regulating the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluid.
Check out our recipe for Crock Pot Sugar-Free Strawberry Chia Jam.