Everyone seems to be getting on the Chia seed train, the super energy food for ancient Mayans and Aztecs. They are an excellent source of:
Antioxidants & various micronutrients.
Loaded with fiber – 40% of their weight is fiber
High in calcium (18% RDA per ounce), magnesium, phosphorus and protein, all beneficial for bone health
Rich in Omega-3 – studies have shown that chia seeds don’t increase blood levels of DHA (the most important Omega-3 fat), so fatty fish, fish oil, or DHA supplement is still required.
They are so easy to introduce into your diet as you only need around 15-20grams (1-1.5 tbsp) per day. I wouldn’t recommend eating them straight, as they are pretty dry but they can be easily sprinkled on muesli, yogurt or put in juice or smoothie. Here’s a luxurious and creamy dessert recipe to get you on board:
Chai Seed Pudding (makes 2 large servings)
Personally I mix half a cup of blueberry with plain yogurt (fruit yogurt has too much sugar in it for my liking) and mix 2 teaspoons of chia seeds and 2 teaspoons of pollen (you can introduce this at a quarter of teaspoon once a day and increase gradually incase of allergies). Leave for 30mins so the chia seeds get to gel and then Viola!
Allowing them to Gel, means they get to “sprout”. This releases the “enzyme inhibitors” which protect the seed making them easier to digest and for the dense nutrients to be accessed. I would recommend “sprouting” them before use to get the most nutrition out of them.
Soak chia seeds in 1:10 ratio chia seed to water (or liquid as above) ( 1.5 tablespoons chia seeds in one cup of water ) and leave them to gel for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. They absorb over 10 times their weight in water, so if you choose not to soak them, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated, as they can also absorb water from you.
Warning : Chia seeds can lower your blood pressure to a level that is unsafe. If you already have low blood pressure or if you are already taking prescribed blood thinners, make sure to ask your doctor if your chia seed intake is OK.
I have low blood pressure, so 1.5 teaspoons is the max I can have daily. I realized this the hard way. After a while I noted I had read tbsp incorrect, thinking it meant teaspoon (derr) and I increased my intake to 1 tablespoon a day. That month I had the worse menstrual pains ever! Luckily I was reading comments on Chai seeds, where this had happened to 2 other ladies, who also had the side effect of heavy periods and estrogen dominance so able to connect the cause. I recommend stopping intake if this happens and consult a doctor.
References & Further Reading
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