Ch-ch-ch-chia! This chia pet is a shout out to my running group The War Turtles. Love these ladies so much ♥♥♥
Since my last smoothie post I’ve gotten a few emails about chia seeds. YES, they are the seeds that you use for chia pets. YES, you can eat them. YES, they are recommended by Dr. Oz. YES, they are considered a superfood.
CHIA (SALVIA HISPANICA)
10 Health Benefits of This Superfood via What’s Cooking America
1. Supports Heart Health
Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies however, it is very important that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in North America.
2. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy. In one study on diabetic patients, Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and blood pressure of participants dropped significantly, after three months of taking Chia seeds daily.
The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking Chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins which are known to have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
5. Weight Loss
The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.
6. Detoxification and Elimination
Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
7. High Quality Protein
Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid – contributing to a long shelf life.
9. Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients
Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. (2 tablespoons of Chia = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3)
10. Brain Power
EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration).
You can add them to salads, yogurts, smoothies… You can even bake with them! Dr. Oz has a Pumpkin Chia seed muffin recipe on his website that I might have to give a try. I bought mine from The Vitamin Shoppe but you can also find it at Whole Foods and Costco.
Andrea’s Pina Colada Green Monster
Recipe adapted from my friend Andrea
Makes 1 serving
CB’s changes in red = 4 PP+ per serving
[NOTES: I do not count points for fruits or vegetables for this recipe so the only points are from the almond milk, chia seeds and coconut IMO. Feel free to calculate points at your own discretion.]
1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I omitted)
2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened)
handful baby spinach (I used 2 handfuls)
1 cup frozen pineapple (I used 1 pineapple spear)
1/2 frozen banana
2-3 ice cubes
1. Add all ingredients into the blender in the order listed except for the ice.
2. Blend well.
3. Add ice cubes and blend until smooth.
Husband rating: N/A
Wifey rating: A/A-
I liked this one but I think next time to RAMP UP the pina colada flavor I might substitute coconut milk for the almond milk and maybe add some coconut extract too! All I could taste was banana so I might omit it next time but I’m not a big banana fan so the taste might be stronger for me.