The Power of Chia
I'm sure you've heard the buzz by now about chia seeds. "Chia this, chia that," but it's only because chia seeds happen to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Rich in nutrients and energy boosting power, this superfood is naturally found in Mexico. In fact, ancient Mayan and Aztec warriors relied greatly on the power of "chia", which translates to "strength" in Mayan. Chia, the very seeds responsible for those lush, green Chia Pets popular in the 90s (ch-ch-ch-chia!), are chocked full of nutrients, making them so very beneficial to our health. These tiny little seeds sure do pack a BIG ol' punch!
Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Anti-Aging. Chia seeds are one of nature's biggest sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the free radicals in our bodies. This speeds up skin repair, prevent premature aging, and prevents further damage.
- Digestive Health. Thanks to the high fiber content (11 grams per ounce), chia seeds act as a prebiotic which supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
- Bone Health. You can find high amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, protein, and most importantly calcium in chia seeds, all of which are essential for bone health. In fact, chia seeds are a great source of calcium for vegans, or those who don't consume dairy.
- Brain Health. Chia seeds are jam-packed with Omega-3 fatty acids (more than salmon). These fats are very important for brain health!
- Improve Athletic Performance. Chia was considered "runner's food" by the Mayans because runners would use them to sustain energy while running long distances. Studies show that consuming chia seeds enhanced exercise performance the same way a sugary sports drink would (minus all the sugar).
- Weight loss. Not only does chia seeds raise your metabolism, keep you feeling fuller longer, but it helps burn belly fat by keeping blood sugar stabilized. UMM, MORE CHIA, PLEASE!
Incorporating Chia in Your Life
There are countless ways to incorporate chia seeds in your diet. You can sprinkle a teaspoon or two over yogurt or oatmeal, or try adding it to your smoothie or salad. Here are a couple of my favorite recipes using chia seeds!
Almond Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup oats
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs chia seeds
2/3 cup toasted coconut
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Roll & press the mixture into 1 inch balls, then place on parchment paper.
Place in freezer until firm, then transfer to an airtight container
Keep in refridgerator (good for 7 days) & enjoy!
1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbs of honey
- Pour coconut milk in bowl.
- Add chia seeds and whisk until well combined.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, mixing well.
- Pour in a jar, seal lid, and refridgerate overnight.
- Serve with fresh berries.
Strawberry Chia Jam
16 oz of fresh strawberries, stems & leaves removed
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tbs chia seeds
2 tbs Maple Syrup
- In a food processor, or blender, pulse strawberries to a puree of your desire (some like it chunkier than others).
- Add to a bowl with lemon juice, maple syrup, and chia seeds.
- Stir well.
- Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge.
Spread over toast, or add it to your oatmeal, or yogurt!
Sometimes we don't have the time, or the want, to make something using chia seeds and thats okay, cause there's Mamma Chia to the rescue! Mamma Chia, the first of its kind, offers a variety of delicious chia foods and beverages that are all non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, and USDA Certified Organic. From drinks to squeezable pouches to snack bars, Mamma Chia's got it all!
Mamma Chia has recently launched their Chia & Greens drink; yes, that's chia combined with the power of greens (a two birds, one stone kinda deal, if you ask me). Bonus points, cause they taste so good! Each of these refreshing drinks are not only loaded with our beloved chia seeds, but also greens, like kale, spinach, broccoli, spirulina, barley grass, and wheatgrass. The Soulful Greens (Lemon & Cayenne) was my favorite and a great kickstart to the day. Enjoy these drinks anytime you need the "power of chia"!