I’ve discovered Chia seeds! I can’t stop singing that song from the commercial advertising the Chia Pet! Remember that one?
Yes, the chia seeds that everyone is discovering now are the same ones that we grew on our countertop so many years ago. Am I dating myself here? C’mon, someone out there must remember the chia pets? Those little clay figures? I think I had a sheep and a human head.
I certainly knew that one of the latest additions to a living food lifestyle was chia seed, but I didn’t use it. Then one day I was trying to find another remedy for my daughter’s stomach aches and stumbled across a post on chia seeds. It said if you take one teaspoon of dry chia with water to swallow, in 15 minutes your stomach ache will be gone. Let’s look more into this cute little seed.
The chia seed has been around for centuries and was used as a staple food by the Indians. They would eat a teaspoon full when they went on their 24 hour marches. Indians going from Colorado to California would take only chia seed for food. Its use as an endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs.
Chia seeds are the perfect food for athletes. This tiny seed is highly hydrophilic. That means it absorbs large amounts of water. They can absorb over 1o times their weight in water. It can also regenerate muscle tissue for conditioning athletes and weight lifters. Chia in your system will absorb the water you drink and hold it in your system longer. Studies have been done showing that eating chia seeds will slow down how fast your body converts carb calories into simple sugars. This is great news for diabetics! This slowing down allows for greater endurance. Carbs are the fuel for energy in our bodies.
Chia seeds gel in the stomach and as it moves through our digestive system it can help prevent some of the food that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This is of great help when dieting or trying to eat less. You will feel fuller faster and in turn this will help you eat less and be less hungry. Chia seeds can be a great addition to your detox program. They are high in fiber and healthy oils.
What about stomach aches? Raw foods consist largely of hydrophilic colloids. Cooking, on the other hand, precipitates food’s colloidal integrity. This change alters the hydration capacity of our foods to interfere with their ability to absorb digestive juices. Eating raw food allows us to not need hydrophilic colloid. Raw food contains enough hydrophilic colloid to keep our gastric mucosa at a good balance. For those of us who suffer from gas, slow digestion or heartburn, we need more hydrophilic colloids incorporated into our foods. Some of these conditions are not helped with eating raw foods. However, consuming chia, a hydrophilic colloid, can help certain people with their symptoms.
Chia seed contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 in their oil. They also are high in alpha-linolenic fatty acid which makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids. No, you don’t have to grind them like you do flax seed. They are relatively easy to digest. Flax seeds are not. Chia seeds are also a great muscle and tissue builder. As a source of protein, it can be digested and absorbed very easily into the tissues and can be utilized by the cells rapidly. This would’ve been great when my daughter was going through some major growth spurts. Do you have growing children? Or are you pregnant? This benefit of the chia is good for you too!
Last, but not least, the chia seed is a rich source of calcium. It contains the mineral boron. Boron acts as a catalyst for the absorption and utilization of calcium by the body.
Chia gel works as a fat replacer for many recipes. Just prepare it with pure water and it will absorb 9 times its weight in water in less than ten minutes. You can put chia seeds directly in any of your smoothies. You can also sprinkle them on top of yogurt or your cereal or add them to salads. I’ve been putting them in my green smoothies. The only time I get stomach aches now is when I eat cooked foods, so I am really looking forward to getting my daughter to try them for her stomach issues.