Cha cha Chia...

Cha cha Chia...

Let’s talk about chia seeds. Now don’t just think of those chia pets (which happen to make fabulous white elephant gifts).  Think chia seeds and the health benefits of those little black seeds.  Yes, they might be tiny but they are powerful little seeds.  When you break down the nutritional content of the chia seed here is what it looks like for a 1 ounce serving:

·         Protein: 4 grams.

·         Fiber: 11 grams

·         Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).

·         Calcium: 18% of the RDA.

·         Manganese: 30% of the RDA.

·         Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.

·         Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.

·         They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

·         They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids, so our bodies can make use of the protein in them. 

·         Chia seeds a great source of protein for non-animal protein diets

 

Because chia seeds are a fat and a protein they boost your endurance and energy levels.  When the body receives the right form of fat in it mixed with the right balance of carbohydrates (think veggies, not pasta) the body’s ability for long term endurance increases.  For example, marathon runners that “carbed” up on pasta were out performed by runners that “fattened” up on clean fats like chia seeds.  The reason for this is muscles need fat for fuel.  Fat is the body’s most concentrated source of energy, providing more than twice as much potential energy as carbohydrate or protein. During exercise, stored fat in the body (in the form of triglycerides in adipose or fat tissue) is broken down into fatty acids. These fatty acids are transported through the blood to muscles for fuel. This process occurs relatively slowly as compared with the mobilization of carbohydrate for fuel. Fat is also stored within muscle fibers, where it can be more easily accessed during exercise. 

There are many medical studies that show adding chia seeds to the diet lower blood pressure.  They can also play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

Chia seeds are satisfying. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.  By adding chia seeds to green juices veggie juices help keep you energized and satisfied. 

There is only one downside of chia seeds.  Those little seeds get stuck in your teeth and they make for a scary looking smile! 

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