I am not one to readily jump on the bandwagon of the latest health fads, supplements, and products that become overnight hits, or that claim to have incredible health benefits. However, since I started eating chia on a daily basis I have noticed considerable shifts in my overall health. Last week my mother-in-law gifted us a book about the amazing health benefits of chia that I thought I would share a few with you.
Chia is an ancient seed that was highly revered by the Aztecs and the Mayans. It is the Mayan word for strength, and has been used as a dietary staple and healing agent for thousands of years. The Mayans would grind chia seeds into flour, press them for oil, use them for healing and drink them mixed with water. Chia has recently made a comeback in modern diets as researchers have discovered the many benefits from this ancient super seed.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Nutrient Dense – Chia seeds are nutrient packed little wonders. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals including Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamins A, C, and E, Folate and Niacin.
Whole Food, Gluten Free, Non-GMO – Chia seeds are a whole food that are gluten free and not modified for cultivation. In addition very few people are allergic or have food sensitivities to chia.
Brain Food – Chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid an essential fatty acid that has been shown to improve mood, brain function and memory.
Supports Weight Loss – Chia seeds are high in fiber and protein packed—both of which help to satiate hunger, reduce cravings, stabilize blood sugar and encourage optimal weight.
Boosts Endurance – Part of chia seeds resurgence has come through the long-distance running community and popularized in an ultra-running book called Born to Run. Thanks to chia’s ability to keep joints supple and its high potassium and ability to absorb water helps you stay hydrated and keeps your muscles free of cramps while you enjoy your favorite exercise.
There are several chia seed recipes on my blog and below is one of my favorites from the book Chia – The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Super Food by Wayne Coates.
Chia Snack Bars
adapted from Chia by Wayne Coates to be gluten free
- 1/4 cup coconut oil – liquid
- 1 tablespoon milled chia seeds (seeds ground to a fine powder)
- 1 cup pitted and softened Medjool dates
- 1/4 almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups of rolled oats (gluten free)
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
- 1/3 cup finely chopped nuts (I used pecans)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Use food processor Vitamix or similar to combine oil, chia, milk, dates and vanilla extract.
- In a large bowl thoroughly combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt.
- Combine the chia mixture to the dry ingredients and stir in nuts and chocolate.
- Spread the mixture onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Use a wet knife to pre-cut into desired squares prior to baking.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Wishing You Vibrant Living