RandyW Posted September 8, 2007 Share Posted September 8, 2007 the same seeds that create the clay and pottery pets are good for us! You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but we need to rethink the value of this humble quiet powerhouse, because the seeds are the most important part of the plant. Chia Seeds are a powerful nutritional food with benefits superior to flax seeds. Chia has a very mild flavor (and no “fishy” taste like other foods high in Omega-3 acids). They are extremely rich in Omega-3 acids and are a very good source of fiber and manganese. Chia seeds are low in sodium and cholesterol-free. Chia Seeds have the highest CHIA SEEDS... Eat 'em, don't plant 'em! medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin. What’s in Chia Seeds? Chia seeds typically contain about 20 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbohydrates. The fat contains a very high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids—even more than the more popular flax seeds which we have all heard and read about. And it has another unique known whole-food source of Omega-3 acids. These acids promote cardiovascular and mental health and benefit many body functions. Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. The Aztecs also used chia advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Another advantage: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. How are Chia Seeds used? Chia Seeds are mild tasting and easily digestible. The shells are easily broken and can even be swallowed whole. Chia won’t alter the taste of foods when it’s used as an ingredient. It can be sprinkled on cereal or eaten as a snack. Grinding Chia produces a meal called pinole, which can be mixed with flour into baked goods like biscuits, cakesand breads. Soaked seeds are gelatinous and used in porridges and puddings. The seeds can be soaked in water or fruit juice creating a drink known in Mexico as chia fresca. They are an excellent addition to fruit smoothies. The fastest and easiest way to take chia seed is to add one tablespoon chia seed into an eight-ounce glass of water or juice, stir to break up any lumps, let sit about five minutes, stir again, and then drink. You can also use it to make a versatile gel, which can be added to jams, jellies, peanut butter, milkshakes, nut spreads, smoothies, hot or cold cereals, yogurts, mustard, catsup, tartar sauce, barbecue sauces, etc. as a fat replacer, for energy and endurance, or for added great taste. Here’s how to make the gel, which has a slightly nutty flavor: Put nine parts water in a sealable plastic container. Slowly pour one part seed into the water, then mix with a wire whisk or fork. This process will avoid any clumping of the seed. Wait a few minutes and stir again to break up any clumps, let stand ten minutes, and stir again. Store up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Add the gel, between 50 to 70 percent by volume, to any of the above-mentioned foods, mix well, and taste. You will notice a very smooth texture, with the integrity of the flavor intact, but you have added 50 to 70 percent more volume to your food and have displaced calories and fat by incorporating an ingredient that is ninety percent water! What are the benefits of Chia Seeds? • High In Omega-3 Acids. • Higher levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than flax seed. ALA is an essential acid because it is not produced by the body. In fact, chia seeds have the highest known whole-food source levels of Omega-3 acids, as measured by percent of weight. • Rich In Antioxidants. Chia is a great natural source of antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin and flavonols. • Full of Important Nutrients. Chia is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc and copper. Chia contains six times more iron than spinach. • Low In Sodium and Cholesterol-Free. Chia contains less than half the sodium of flax seed, per serving. This is important to those with high blood pressure and concerned about sodium intake. As a plant-based source of Omega-3, Chia is cholesterol-free. • Promotes Hydration. Chia soaks up water,promoting hydration and electrolyte retention. • Helps in Weight Loss. • Builds Endurance. The Mayan word for Chia is “strength.” Chia builds stamina and endurance because it steadily releases slow-burning glucose into the bloodstream • The protein in Chia is Gluten-Free. Submitted by Wendy Evensen of Sadie's Herbal Garden, 8406 Hwy 158 (Main St.), Stokesdale. Call 336-644-SOAP or visit www.sadiesherbalgarden.com. See ad on page Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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