March 23rd is chia seed day! If you’re a lover of chia seeds then you already know their many health benefits. If you’re new to chia seeds, you may have found just your new favorite ingredient.
Chia seeds have been making an appearance in recipes and medicine for centuries. From the Aztecs to the Mayans, chia seeds have long been treasured for their natural energy-boosting qualities. Chia was even believed to have supernatural powers – in fact, in Mayan, the word “chia” actually means “strength.”
Regarded as a “super food” by many, chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids – a type of healthy fat. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation, and may even help decrease the risk of heart disease by lowering triglycerides and cholesterol.
Omega-3s are also thought to be important for brain health, due to a high concentration found naturally in the brain. Several studies have shown that a decreased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to an increased risk of age-related cognitive decline (including dementia and Alzheimer disease).
Chia seeds are also packed with fiber, another inflammation-reducing quality. Fiber can also help lower cholesterol and aide in digestion.
With these credentials, it’s no surprise that health food lovers have found ways to incorporate this powerful seed into our modern diets and lifestyles. Having almost no flavor, chia seeds are an easy addition to a wide range of foods (and drinks).
Sprinkle them into an omelet or your morning oatmeal. Add them to your salad dressing or mix them into any batter – pancakes, waffles, muffins, cakes, the list goes on. Keep in mind, when wet, chia seeds get a more jelly-like texture to them. No need to panic, they’re supposed to do that.
Another popular way to add chia seeds to your diet is by adding them to a smoothie. We found a smoothie recipe from FoodNetwork.com that’s so delicious it’s hard to believe it’s nutritious.
This recipe is anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, and packed with omega-3s. Try it in the morning for breakfast or in the afternoon as a snack.
Chaplin, Amy. Blueberry and Chia Seed Smoothie. Retrieved from https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/blueberry-and-chia-seed-smoothie-3415147
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). (2015, April 15). Eight nutrients to protect the aging brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150415203340.htm
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