In this short article I will discuss the benefits of Chia seeds and how you can benefit from incorporating it in your meals for a balanced healthy nutrition.
Chia (Salvia hispanica) have been called superfood for a long time but if you have been reading my articles about common super foods you would know that I am not a fan of this phrase.
These seeds were used by the Aztecs**** as a staple food. It is thought that because it is so nutritionally dense, chia provided them enhanced endurance in battles.
Originally grown in the South Americas it is now grown in many countries including Australia. The food portion is the seed which is a small oval like ball 1mm in diameter.
It is incredibly rich in Omega 3 fatty acids (omega-3 long-chain fatty acid) *** which for a grain is highly unusual in a very positive way. Omega fatty acids of which there are three groups 3, 6 and 9. Most of the grains in Australia like wheat, oats etc are rich in omega 6 type which encourages inflammation*. The omega 3 discourages it so it is important to aim for a balance.
Chia seeds are:
Note: Chia seeds are best consumed in a hydrated state (ie in a smoothie, water etc) as they are super absorbent. Keep your intake of dry whole or milled seeds to a light sprinkle and avoid entirely if you are dehydrated as they will absorb all the liquids in your stomach.
Should you have concerns about your digestion or other ailments please raise it at your next shiatsu consultation where I am happy to answer any questions.
Enjoy Chia in the your breakfasts, smoothies and also in baking. Baking oxidises some of the beneficial fats and as such looses some if it's benefits.
3 handfuls of kale, beetroot greens or spinach, washed, destemed, roughly chopped
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 tsp Spirulina
3 Tbs Chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
500 ml liquid, water, cold tea, Almond milk or juice
Add all ingredients except liquids to a blender bowl or if using a stick blender a tall milkshake cup. Add 200ml of liquid and blend for 10-20 secs. Top up liquids to desired volume and blend for a few seconds and serve. If the day is not so warm or you are feeling a little cold the liquids can be warmed and the banana reduced to half.
Raw Chocolate Chia Desert
500ml Almond milk (see recipe here)
1/2 cup (46g) Chia seeds, ground
40-50g good quality Cocoa powder
5-8 tsp organic palm sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla bean extract
2 pinches of sea salt
Break the chia seeds in a grinder or blender. Make your almond milk. Add chia milk and remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend until evenly combined. Pour into serving cups or bowls and rest for 10-15 mins.
* Study on Omega-3 inflammatory effects (Modulation of inflammatory cytokines by omega-3 fatty acids) - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18751910
** Inflammatory index of 17 - http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2
*** Omega-3 also known as a-Linolenic acid or ALA