You’ve probably heard of chia. If not, catch up fast, because chia can give you more energy than you’ve ever experienced, boost strength and endurance, induce weight loss, and level blood sugar.
Here’s a recap: Long before there were telephones or the internet, during the days of the Aztec empire, tribes could only communicate via runners, men who literally ran from one tribe to the next. But how did these men who ran for days on end survive? Legend has it that these men subsisted on chia, an ancient herb making new waves in nutrition circles because of its superfood status.
Chia, the Mayan word for strength, is a flowering plant native to Mexico and Guatemala. Though commercially harvested for its seeds, its sprouts are perhaps better known from the Chia Pet, a small porcelain animal that sprouted chia for hair.
More commonly, the sprouts are consumed like alfalfa sprouts—in salads, sandwiches and other dishes—but it’s the seeds that are the real nutritional superstars.
Why is it a superfood?
Chia seeds have:
-2 times the protein of any other seed or grain.
-5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron, which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones.
-2 times the amount of potassium as bananas.
-3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries.
-3 times more iron than spinach.
-Copious amounts of omega-3 and omega-6, which are essential fatty acids (one ounce of these power-packing seeds contains more than eight times the amount of omega-3 fatty acid found in a similar measure of wild salmon).
With all this nutritional goodness, it’s no wonder that some medical studies have shown important cardiovascular and other health benefits from consuming chia. Despite some promising results, however, research on chia is still largely lacking and more work needs to be done until anything can be said conclusively.
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Hearty Chia Breakfast Eggs:This makes a very satisfying, tasty and nutritious breakfast. The egg/chia mixture has a consistency similar to couscous when cooked.
Ingredients per person
* 1 egg
* 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (preferably white)
* Half a small onion
* A handful of baby spinach
* A splash of milk (about a dessert spoon)
1-Whisk the egg and milk, and soak the chia seeds in the mixture for 15 minutes.
2-Chop the onion finely and gently fry in a non stick frying pan with a little butter or oil until soft and slightly brown.
3-Add the egg/chia seed/milk mixture to the pan and stir until set.
4-Add the baby spinach leaves and stir the mixture until leaves are slightly wilted.
5-Season to taste (it's great with a little sea salt and ground black pepper), serve and enjoy.
Merry Berry Smoothie
* 1 1/2 cups of apple juice
* 1 cup of mixed berries, frozen or fresh
* 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1-Soak the chia seeds in the apple juice for 10 minutes or so.
2-Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
To make a creamier smoothie, add 2 tablespoons of yogurt or half a banana.
Where do I buy it?
You can find chia seeds, chia flour or chia oil at most health food stores and online.