Eat.Pray.Heal

Chia Seeds, a Superfood

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I read a great article on Natural News this morning titled “Chia Seeds are a Superfood Treasure”.  Many of you probably already eat chia seeds and know they are good for you.  They are so easy, because you just have to buy the bag and add them to smoothies, granola, etc., no grinding necessary.  We love chia seeds and put them in our vegan protein shake every morning.

First of all, per gram, chia seeds have 8x more omega 3 than salmon, which many people will tell you is the best source of omega 3 fatty acids.  So forget those fish oil supplements!  Vegans do not have to worry about where to get their omega 3’s from, because we have great sources in both flax seed and chia seeds.  In fact, according to Elisha McFarland over at Natural News, “The ALA (alpha linolenic fatty acid) that is in chia seeds is the only known essential omega-3 fatty acid that the body can’t produce on its own.” 

Omega 3 fatty acids aren’t the only benefit of chia seeds.  Chia seeds are also packed full of “vitamins A, B, E and D and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, thiamine and zinc.”  In addition, chia seeds are full of protein (6x more than kidney beans per gram) and fiber (11 grams per ounce of chia seeds).  Take a look at the chart McFarland laid out in the article (this is all based on one gram of chia seeds):

• 8x more omega-3 than salmon

• 6x more calcium than milk

• 3x more iron than spinach

• 15x more magnesium than broccoli

• 2x more fiber than bran flakes

• 6x more protein than kidney beans

• 4x more phosphorous than whole milk

I think you can agree, if you’re not consuming chia seeds on a daily basis yet, I highly recommend you start making my vegan protein shake every morning or after you workout, or you should add 2 Tbsp of chia seeds to a daily smoothie, granola/cereal, or salad.  I also recommend you try these tropical cranberry chia seed bars for breakfast sometime.  They are divine and super healthy–no sugar, no gluten, and lots of fruit and chia seeds!  I know many vegans even use chia seeds as an egg substitute (1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water), but honestly I prefer flax eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water). 
 
Do you eat chia seeds every day?  How do you like to add them to your diet? 
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Author: Amber Vo

Traditionalist Catholic, wife, foodie, animal lover, barren. My blog: http://thisluminousroaditravel.wordpress.com/

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