Chia pet! Chia tree! Chia Obama! Chia figurines grown from chia seeds gained popularity in the 1980s thanks in large part to clever advertising and a fantastically catchy jingle. Recently, chia seeds have gained new-found popularity thanks to the associated health benefits of eating chia seeds.
Chia seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also a notably rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, 60% of the fats contained in chia seeds are omega-3 fats. To read more about the importance of incorporating omega-3 fats into your diet, read my previous post: http://www.doctorchrisko.blogspot.com/2013/07/cooking-for-your-kids-good-bad-and.html
While studies on the health benefits of chia seeds are limited, consumption of chia seeds have been associated with improved circulating levels of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids in the bloodstream, improved weight control, and reductions in blood triglyceride and glucose levels. Because chia seeds are considered healthy, they have made their way into various food products from smoothies to breakfast bars.
And while chia seeds have a healthy nutrition profile, they are not a panacea to unhealthy eating! Simply adding chia seeds to a sugary smoothie or chasing a burger with chia seeds doesn't turn an unhealthy food into a healthy food. The antidote to unhealthy eating is not addition but subtraction. Rather than add chia seeds to counteract an unhealthy diet, chia seeds can be added in a myriad of creative ways to enhance your healthy diet. In particular, if you don't like the taste of fish and other seafood, you can add chia seeds to your yogurt, salads, and lean meats to ensure that you get an adequate amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
In the following video, I demonstrate how easy it is to incorporate chh- chh- chh- chia seeds into your diet.
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You can find the recipe I used in the above clip at the following link: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1764698
I modified the above recipe by using my Vitamix dry blade container to grind up whole oats instead of using bread crumbs.
Norlaily MA et al. The Promising Future of Chia, Salvia hispanica L. J Biomed & Biotech 2012:1-9.