You know those Chia Pet commercials, with the terra cotta planters in
crazy shapes that seem to sprout green, herby tufts almost instantly? Well, the
latest health food craze is all about the chia…without the planter.
Fully grown chia is a hardy, sort of spiky-looking herb, but nowadays,
you’ll probably see it more commonly as a seed than a plant. These babies are
packed with good-for-ya nutrients, including linolenic acid, manganese,
calcium, potassium and phosphorous, in addition to protein and tons of fiber.
You an eat the raw seeds whole or soak them in water to drink or add to food. Here’s
why you might wanna give ‘em a try:
Fill Up on
Fiber helps ya feel full, so if you’re slippin’ some chia seeds into
your meals, chances are you’ll end up eating less. You won’t feel like snacking
as much, which could help you lower your overall calorie intake.
Chia seeds have omega-3 fatty acids, which, if ya haven’t heard, are one
of the two kinds of fats that are actually good for your bod. Omega-3s help
lower blood pressure, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Even better,
these seeds don’t have much saturated fat, and that’s the stuff that ya wanna
Build Up Bones
If ya don’t like milk, here’s your chance to get some calcium and
strengthen your bones. In just two tablespoons of chia, there are 205 mg of
calcium, which is about 16 percent of your recommended daily allowance. You can
even add the seeds to some calcium-rich yogurt or cereal for an extra boost of
Tune Up Your
Another awesome bonus that comes with omega-3s is brain power. They
improve your memory and will help ya concentrate on whatever fun projects
you’re tackling this summer. Scientists are even checking out omega-3s as a way
to lessen behavioral disorders.
The antioxidants in chia seeds can help fight off lots of nasty
diseases, and they’re being investigated as ways to reduce risks of cancer,
Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Some scientists also think antioxidants can help put
the brakes on the aging process, so if you were looking for the Fountain of
Youth, these seeds just might be your ticket.
Instead of snacking on protein bars to fuel your workouts, try mixing
chia seeds into your water or pudding. They’re an excellent way to get some
plant protein and carbs, which will give you energy while helping to build lean
BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 8/7/2012 5:55:00 PM
POSTED IN healthy eating 101, nutrition