"Cha Cha Cha Chia..."
Yes, that Chia! I never actually had a chia pet as a kid, but I had a TV and I sing that song every time I reach for the jar of chia from my cupboard. Who knew we'd be eating those amazing little seeds years later?
Here are some reasons you may want to grab your own jar of chia:
Chia is digested and absorbed very easily. This results in efficient assimilation for the cells and it is excellent to use when rapid development of tissue is taking place. For example: during growth periods of children and toddlers and growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation. Athletes use chia for regeneration of muscle tissue as well.
Chia is high in Omega 3s. It is the richest vegetable source for the omega-3 fatty acids. 30% of the chia seed’s oil comes from Omega 3 oil, while 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. If you aren't aware, Omega 3s are harder to obtain in our modern diet and we should be eating a balanced amount of 3s to 6s. These oils are essential for your body's ability to emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K which brings us to the fact that…
Chia is nutritious, full of protein, and rich in Boron (helping the body absorb calcium), and in alpha-linolenic fatty acid. Fatty acids are also related to normal functioning of the reproductive system. In addition, these nutrients support proper brain functioning.
Chia is good for the adrenal glands and the thyroid gland which are commonly stressed by most Americans.
Chia helps nourish skin cells, tissues, mucus membranes and nerves by assisting in the assimilation of phosphorus and stimulating the conversion of carotene into Vitamin A.
Chia balances blood sugar and lowers your risk for Type 2 diabetes. People experience a constant energy release throughout the day from chia, rather than highs and lows as other foods can cause.
Chia keeps you full. When water comes into contact with the seed, it gels up. This not only keeps you hydrated longer, but also keeps you feeling full and satiated. Many people use the gel for weight loss with a lot of success not only because the seeds keep you feeling full, but also because they cleanse your bowels. Because the gel is made with water, additional calories are not added. The seed can soak up ten times its own weight in water.
Chia can be used as an egg replacer in some recipes. It has not worked well for pancakes for me, but do try experimenting with it in other things. To replace one egg: mix 2 Tablespoons of chia with 1/2 cup of cold water. Let sit to set up 5-20 minutes. This makes 1/4 cup of chia gel.
Most of the time our family eats chia as a porridge (video below). I also make raw cacao chia pudding or freeze into fudge pops. Sometimes I'll throw chia into a smoothie and we'll stay full longer throughout the morning. Other people like to use chia seeds uncooked in salad dressings, spreads, cookies, cakes, muffins, and other baked goods.
My how to video for Chia Porridge and additional tips:
April Sheets is a peaceful parenting, babywearing and unschooling mom of three; an alternative medicine and natural immunity advocate; and raw food loving, juicing enthusiast. She is a lactivist, intactivist woman "altruistically trying to save the world from itself." Learn more from Sheets at Primitive Mommy: Instinctual Eating, Parenting and Living or find her at Primitive Mommy on Facebook.