What are the Benefits of Chia?
Originating out of the central valley of Mexico, chia was traditionally used by the Aztecs who recognized it as a superfood for its ability to translate into high amounts of energy when consumed. In fact, it was so coveted, that it was sometimes used as currency. Even the state of Chiapas, derived from Chiapan, translates loosely to “river where the chia sage grows. Chia contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, including flax.
The human body is unable to produce omega-3s, but they are essential to proper brain function, growth and normal development.
They also lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Chia is also a great source of protein. When soaked, the seeds form a thick gel that actually slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, thus making it especially beneficial for diabetics with high blood sugar. Chia also maintains high levels of water (up to 12 times it weight) helping with proper hydration. Lastly, chia is a powerful antioxidant, so much so that they can be stored for long periods of time without risk of spoiling.
One bottle of Mamma Chia naturally provides:
- 2000mg Omega-3s- Excellent Source of Fiber
- High in Antioxidants – ORAC Value 2644
- 4g Complete Protein
- 95mg Calcium
- Other minerals including Potassium, Magnesium and Iron
Chia Seeds – A Synergy of Nutrients
The dynamic synergy of nutrients found in chia seeds includes soaring omega-3s, balanced fiber, high antioxidants, complete protein, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium and more. This all adds up to an abundance of vitality, energy and strength!
Chia seeds provide more omega-3 than flax. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation, may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis, and have been linked to improved brain memory and performance. Chia naturally has a desirable 3:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. And unlike flax, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to absorb the nutritional benefits.
Chia seeds contains more dietary fiber than flax. Fiber consumption has been linked to a lower risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and heart disease. It may also lower the risk for some cancers, help reduce the absorption of cholesterol, and even be an aid in weight loss programs.
Chia seeds contains more antioxidants than blueberries. According to Dr. Richard Cutler, the former Director of the National Institute of Aging, “The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.” Antioxidants are nutrients in our foods which can slow the oxidative damage to our body. When our body’s cells use oxygen, they naturally produce “free radicals” that cause damage to our tissues, including major organs and skin, accelerating the aging process.
Chia seeds have more protein than soybeans. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein and the body uses protein to build and repair tissues. Protein is also used to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Chia seeds provide more calcium than milk. Calcium is the chief supportive element in bones and teeth, and its salt makes up about 70 percent of bone by weight, providing your bones with their strength and rigidity.
The folate content of chia seeds is higher than that of asparagus. Also known as Vitamin B9, folate plays a crucial role in facilitating many body processes. Among them are cell maintenance and repair, synthesis of DNA, amino acid metabolism and formation of red and white blood cells. The benefits of folic acid include inhibiting colon cancer as well as preventing heart disease.
Chia seeds contain more iron than spinach. Iron is an essential mineral and an important component of the proteins involved in oxygen transport and metabolism. When iron is low, oxygen consumption slows down.
Chia seeds contain more magnesium than broccoli. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis of protein, and is an important co-factor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, many of which contribute to the production of energy. While calcium impacts muscle contractions, magnesium balances that effect and relaxes muscles.
Information from http://www.mammachia.com/what-are-the-health-benefits
Add Nutritional Chia Seeds to Your Diet
It's easy to add Chia seeds to your diet, by making a basic Chia Gel and keeping it in the frige. This gel can be added to recipes or smoothies and will keep refridgerated for about 2 weeks.
Basic Chia Gel
Put slightly warmed water into a container with a tight-fitting lid, use either plastic or a glass jar. Pour one part dry seeds into 9 parts water, stir or whisk to break up any clumps. Let mixture stand for 1 minute and whisk again. Store in the refrigerator.
The amount of water you use determines the thickness of the gel-ie, the more water you use, the less thick the gel will be.You can determine how you prefer it after experimenting.
How to Use Chia Gel in Recipes
Add this mixture to sauces, drinks, yogurt, salad dressings, cream cheese, salsa, cereals, yogurt, dips, puddings, soups, or other liquid or creamy foods. The gel won’t affect flavor, but does boost nutritional value!
Chia gel is a wonderful replacement for fats in baked goods.
Miracle Chia Drink
1/2 cup orange or lemon juice
sweetener to taste (stevia, agave nectar, honey, sweet juice)
10 cups water
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
lemon slices or mint to garnish
Put all ingredients into a sealable container. Shake or stir until sugar is dissolved and all clumps of chia seeds are broken up. Let your Chia drink sit about 10 minutes, then shake again. Chill for 30 minutes, then garnish and serve over ice.
This drink will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days if you'd like to make it ahead and drink a little every day.