Chia Seeds (also called salba seeds)
- 1 cup weight = 160 grams
- A superfood, an excellent source of fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron (important for bone health), and niacin, and provides more easily digestible complete protein than any other seed or grain. Richer in ALA omega 3 fatty acids than flax, with higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries, Chia does not require grinding, such as flax, to release all its nutritional benefits to the body and it’s completely gluten-free.
- Chia is starting to become more widely recognized as a very healthy addition to our diet. The neutral tasting seeds are tiny with a diameter of about 1mm, multi-coloured black, brown, grey or white, and are indeed a cousin of the seeds of Salvia columbariae used for the Chia Pets popular in the ‘80s.
- Along with amaranth, chia was a staple food of the Aztecs and Mayans, who believed the seeds gave them supernatural energy and power. Chia is derived from the Mayan word for “strength,” and was also referred to as “Indian Running Food” due to the amazing energy it gave to warriors and traders going on long treks. The seeds were esteemed to be so special that they were also accepted as currency. During the Spanish conquistadors’ struggle for power over the Mexican civilizations, Cortez tried to destroy all chia crops.
- Chia has the ability to absorb over 12 times its weight in water, which turns it into a thick gel. This helps support the efficiency in how body fluids are being used, and the balance of the body’s electrolytes. The soluble fibre created helps control the body’s absorption of glucose (giving more energy), lowers cholesterol, pulls out toxins, aids digestive issues and regulates the bowels. It is soothing to the stomach and esophagus, and the gel can be taken to treat acid reflux.
Store in: the refrigerator or freezer.
How to use: can be added by the tablespoonful to everything from yogurt to baked goods.
Watch out for: high in fiber, chia can have a laxative effect on some digestive systems, introduce it slowly into your diet.