Ch Ch Ch Chia!Written by Karen on January 12th, 2009
Recently I’ve been making the rounds discussing healthy foods for the new year and featuring an item which I use in my everyday diet. Loaded with Omega 3s, it’s a great alternative to flax seed when I’m short on time to pull out the grinder.
If you missed the ads in the late seventies, I’ve attached a picture of the Chia pet for your viewing pleasure. (Actually it started out as a ram, but morphed into many other types of animals after breeding:)
What does this have to do with nutrition, you might ask? An amazing amount as you will see…
The sprouts from Chia pets come from chia seeds, which are one of the best Omega 3 sources you can find. Originally from the Aztec civilization, scientists have discovered that chia seeds have 5 times the Omega 3 power of flax and fish oils. Here are some of the other benefits:
- High in calcium (6x more than milk)
- High in iron (3x more than spinach)
- High in magnesium (15x more than broccoli)
They are also high in fiber, and a super antioxidant – which helps fight cancers, heart disease, immune deficiencies and brain drain. Loaded with the Omega 3 fatty acid DHA (also found in eggs)…it keeps ‘lousy’ cholesterol (LDL) at bay.
Seeds in general are an excellent source of protein, complete with all the amino acids. The Aztecs eat Chia seeds as a power food for endurance…energy. The big bonus is that they are shelf stable AND can be eaten in their whole form, vs. ground. I add them to my morning granola mix; lunchtime salads; veggie dinners; even whole grain cookies. They are small and versatile.
Most health food stores have caught on to the chia seed buzz so ask for them on your next visit. They are so w-w-w-worth it!