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CHIA SEED – One of the most nutritious foods available and a must if you undertake any sort of physical training here in the humidity of Thailand, as it replenishes electrolytes and keeps the body hydrated. The chia we sell in our shop is imported from Bolivia and is certified organic. It is said that one tablespoon of chia seeds can sustain a person for 24 hours. Chia also happens to TASTE great, and is ready to eat really quickly – besides which it has an off-the-scale nutritional profile…
Chia seeds are said to have:
2 times the protein of any other seed or grain,
5 times the calcium of milk, plus boron, which is a trace mineral, that helps transfer calcium into your bones,
2 times the amount of potassium as bananas,
3 times the reported antioxidant strength of blueberries
3 times more iron than spinach
copious amounts of omega 3 and omega 6, which are essential fatty acids…
They are a complete source of protein, providing all the essential amino acids in an easily digestible form. They are also a fabulous source of soluble fibre. Like flax, chia is highly ‘hydrophilic’ – the seeds absorb water and create a mucilaginous gel. They can hold 9-12 times their weight in water and they absorb it very rapidly – in under 10 minutes.
Antioxidant – One advantage of chia is that because it has such high antioxidant content, the seeds stay stable for much longer, whereas flax, for example, may turn rancid. Chia seeds can easily be stored dry for 4-5 years without deterioration in flavour, odour or nutritional value. You can substitute chia in any recipe that calls for flax.
Mild Taste – The taste of chia is very mild and pleasant. That means you can easily combine it with other foods without changing the taste dramatically. People add chia to their sauces, bread batters, puddings, smoothies and more. The flavour is retained, plus masses more nutrition is added.
The ‘Dieter’s Dream Food’ – Chia has been called a dieter’s dream food because when added to foods, it bulks them up, displacing calories and fat without diluting the flavour. Thus, someone can eat a typical serving; yet only consume about half the calories they might have eaten, because the food has been bulked up with chia. PLUS, the eater gets a bellyful of nutrient-rich superfood goodness, which hydrates and sustains them.
CHIA:- Provides energy – Boosts strength – Bolsters endurance – Levels blood sugar – Induces weight loss – Aids intestinal regularity
Sugar Absorption – Chia slows the impact of sugars on the system, if eaten together. Chia gel creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, which slows the conversion of carbs into sugar. That means the energy from the food is released steadily, resulting in more endurance. This is clearly of great benefit to diabetics in particular. It also means that I can combine chia with super-sweet tastes like apple juice and not get super-spiked .
Absorb and Retain Water – Due to the exceptional water-absorption quality of chia, it can help you prolong hydration and retain electrolytes, especially during exertion.
Easy to Digest – Whole, water-soaked chia seeds are easily digested and absorbed. Their tiny shells break down quickly. They feel light in the body, yet energising. Their nutrients can be quickly assimilated into the body.
Intestinal Broom – Chia seeds bulk up, then work like an incredible digestive broom, sweeping through your intestinal tract, helping to dislodge and eliminate old accumulated waste in the intestines. Many people find their stools also become more regular once they eat chia.
Versatile – Chia can be used in so many kinds of recipes – savoury, sweet – it works with anything. You might want to try them in salad dressings, cookie mixtures, smoothies, crackers, ice creams, juices and so on.
Gluten-Free – Chia seed protein contains no gluten. This makes it ideal for anyone with a gluten sensitivity or simply wanting to find a replacement for gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye and oats.
Which medical conditions can Chia help relieve or support?
Chia is reported to be beneficial for a vast range of issues, for example:
– weight loss/balance – thyroid conditions – hypo-glycaemia – diabetes – IBS – celiac disease – acid reflux
– lowering cholesterol
Ancient Remedy – In the traditional cultures that consumed chia, like the Aztecs, chia was also regarded as a medicine. It was used in myriad ways – from cleaning the eyes to helping heal wounds, topically, to relieving joint pain and so on. It was considered extremely valuable for healing.
Acid Reflux – Chia can be used therapeutically to manage acid reflux. Because of the highly absorbent properties of chia, 1Tbsp of dry seeds with just a little water and goes into the stomach and absorbs the excess acid. This is followed by a glass of water a few minutes later, as the seeds are so hydrophilic that if they do not find enough to absorb in the stomach, they will draw from the tissues instead. It is an effective way to manage this condition, by first allowing the dry seeds to absorb the acid and then drinking some more water.
Regeneration – Chia aids rapid development of tissue, due to its incredible nutrient profile and easy assimilation. It can be very beneficial for those healing from injuries, people like bodybuilders who are always re-forming tissues and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How To Add Chia Seeds To Your Gluten Free Diet – Knowing all the wonderful nutrients chia seeds provide is important, but many people are more concerned with how to incorporate them into their gluten free or grain free diet. It is far simpler than most people realise. Chia seeds have a very subtle taste, which means that you can add them absolutely anything that you eat or drink. They will enhance the nutrients, but they will not alter the flavour.
You can add chia seeds to a glass or bottle of water and drink them. You can add them to any beverage you choose: coffee, ice tea, orange juice… anything. If you are adding them to a liquid it is best to add them to the drink, stir them up and let them sit just for a minute or two so that the seeds have the opportunity to soak in the liquid.
You can let them sit for longer. If you do they will turn into chia gel which you can eat by the spoonful. The gel will still taste like the drink you put them in and you can seal it in a container and store it in the refrigerator to eat at a later time.
If you are having a salad you can sprinkle them on top. They can be added to yogurt as well. You can sprinkle them on fish, on steak, in veggies, soup, really anything you want. If you eat it or drink it you can add chia seeds to it.
One of the most common ways to eat chia seeds is to soak them. They absorb large amounts of liquid very quickly, usually within 10 minutes. You can make basic chia gel by adding 1/3 cup of seeds to 2 cups of water. Stir well so that there are no clumps and then leave it in a jar with a lid in the fridge and eat a spoonful whenever you want.
Available at Nature Home www.naturehomesamui.com