The Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds may no longer be a top food trend but they still have a place in a healthy diet.What is the origin of the Chia seed? They come from a plant in the mint family Native to Guatemala and Mexico. They can add Omega 3’s into your diet although this source is not as readily usable by your body as the Omega 3’s found in oily fish such as salmon. Chia seeds contain a lot of fiber (be sure not to overdo it). Due to the high fiber content they can cause a feeling of fullness for long periods of time. This is great if you are currently on a weight loss regimen. Here are some other great possible benefits:
- Natural energizers- They are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber.
- Supports heart health–They contain high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids derived solely from plants.
- Great source of protein–They contain a higher percentage of protein than most grains.
- They are high in nutrients that help bone health such as calcium and magnesium
Chia Seeds and Endurance Sports
Chia seeds are considered to be in a category of superfoods. They became more well known after the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (soon to be a Major-Motion Picture with Matthew McConaughey?!?) detailed how they were used by the Tarahumara barefoot runners in Mexico. It was the original runners gel, when added to water it takes on a gelatinous quality and is made easy for consumption. Many ultra runners use Chia seeds as a part of their fueling regimen. When consuming Chia seeds soaked in water they enable the body to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates which can allow for longer sustained energy.
While chia seeds may no longer be a current food trend their popularity in the endurance sports community and clean eating communities is still strong. I was first introduced to them by Sarah Stanley, ultra runner, founder of #wellnesschat and #livefreely. Since my introduction I have come to love adding Chia into my oatmeal, into smoothies, making Chia puddings, and in Mamma Chia Drinks (Review and Giveaway COMING SOON!).
Chia Seed Recipes
Here are some awesome recipes to try at home that include Chia seeds that you may want to try:
- Raspberry Cacao Chia Pudding–Organic Runner Mom
- Grain Free Chocolate Coconut Chia Bread –Cotter Crunch
- Pumpkin Chia Granola Bars –Happy Fit Mama
- Vegan Chia Seed Pancakes –Running on Real Food
- Healthy Chocolate Mousse Smoothie – Running with Spoons
- Superfood Chocolate Chia Kefir Pudding –Run To the Finish
- Paleo Banana Chia Bites –Running to the Kitchen
Have you ever tried Chia Seeds? What did you think? Do you have a favorite recipe to share that uses Chia Seeds?
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