Top 5 ~ Chia Seeds

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change

ExSEEDingly cool nutrients:

1. Omega-3s ~ Chia seeds are a source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is converted into the long chain omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosa/penta/noic acid) and DHA (docosa/hexa/noic acid) when we eat them.

They’re a plant source of fatty acids, so yeah they also contain omega-6 fatty acids, but in the good ratio: per 100g of chia seeds there’s about 20g of omega-3s:5g of omega-6s. We want MORE omega-3s:omega-6s because both hop on board the same enzymes and if there’s more omega-3s than omega-6s then we get more of the good stuff they confer to us! Omega-3s are all about anti-inflammation and healthy cell-to-cell communication.

2. Protein ~ at 20g of protein per 100g of chia seeds they can be considered a protein rich food, but 100g is a lot of seeds and one is unlikely to eat this amount to themselves in a day. However a tablespoon or two added to meals ~ blended into smoothies, scattered atop breakfast or salads or stirred into yoghurt is still going to provide some protein, and ALL that omega-3.

3. Calcium loaded! ~ per 100g of chia seeds there’s about 560mg of calcium. That’s hefty. Baseline therapeutic dosages of calcium start at around 800mg of calcium. As a reference point, per 100mL of milk there’s about 115mg of calcium.

4. Antioxidants ~ chia seeds come packaged together with antioxidants to protect and stablise the fragile fatty acids they contain; so we get their bad-guy fighting properties inside of us when we eat them too, alright! This also makes chia seeds convenient as they can be stored for long term at room temperature.

5. Fibre ~ crunchy when dry and jelly when wet, chia seeds are a dandy source of soluble fibre* which works to slow digestive rate and clear the digestive tract. Chia seeds can absorb nine times their weight in water. “Nine times” (say it like the principal from Ferris Bueller, it’s funny.)

*There are two main types of fibre: insoluble and soluble fibre. Most foods contain a combination of both of these. Insoluble fibre attracts water which bulks up into a gel in the presence of fluid. Soluble fibre is fermented by bacteria in the large intestines. This fermentation yields short chain fatty acids (SCFA) which have health benefits particularly for the large intestine.
Soluble 'aight.

Soluble ‘aight.

Make a batch of chia gel:

  • Take a 1/3 cup of seeds, pour over 2 cups of water and store in a sealed container in the fridge.
  • Add the gel to water, smoothies, juices,  yoghurt, muesli, porridge, soups heck even dollop it atop ice cream!
  • You can use chia gel in place of eggs when baking, but it’s best to make it to order at a ratio of 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Or just eat ’em neat. The fluids in our stomach will enable them to plump up and do their good thing to some extent.
  • Intake: aim for at least a tablespoon per day, working up to three or four if you can.
  • Interactions: as they are a source of soluble fibre, they can interfere with the absorption of medications and supplements (increasing transit time through the system) so separate dosage and intake by at least an hour.

Some uses for chia:

  • To prevent or relieve acid reflux.
  • To relieve constipation.
  • To stabilise blood sugar and regulate appetite (weight loss.)
  • As part of dietary therapy for depression, owing to the content of omega-3s which are required by the brain for proper functioning.
  • Pour some seeds into the bottom of a stocking then stuff with cotton wool and tie in a knot. Draw on a face then stick in a cup of water and watch as your chia dude sprouts cool green hair :)
Just look at their wee goody goodliness, bursting full of healthy potential.

Just look at their wee goody goodliness, full up with healthy potential.

I’ve been getting down to chia town on a regular basis and I can tell you that they work! The other day I added a dollop of gel to a pineapple and orange smoothie and even though I’m totally pregnant-hungry, it filled me up for ages. Also I experienced a satisfying bowel evacuation (nothing quite so refreshing to the spirit than a satisfactory turd.) I can’t declare blood levels of omega-3s but I know I’m getting ’em and that’s enough for me.

~Yours with a tiny seed of hope that you’ll eat (or drink) chia seeds, K180, x

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Oooh I love this post Katie! I have become a bit addicted to chia seeds lately! My favourite is having then sprinkled over berry bircher muesli for breakfast! Thanks for all the great info :-)

    • That’s an addiction I encourage! I pretty much add them to everything I bake but am making a more concerted effort to eat them in actual therapeutic dosages these days. x

  2. Lovemr some Chia seeds! Quick Q: how long will the gel keep in the fridge for?

  3. He he. My favourite bit was when you said “Nine times” (say it like the principal from Ferris Bueller, it’s funny. Yep. Rooney! I also have some chia in the fridge. The family think I’m crazy, but I do love seeds.

  4. I used Chia seeds in lots of things to give Lior a calcium boost when he was a babe, as he couldn’t eat dairy (and still can’t eat much). I add it to our green smoothies. Yum!

    • I just love how they are so affordable, so small and easy to add to foods and how bloody good they are for us! I’ve been trying to dream up a chia dessert such as a pana cotta whereby I could set the milk without using gelatin but I haven’t been brave enough to experiment yet.

  5. karina bruce says:

    thanks Katie , my family looov chia seeds but I didn’t know you could substitute for eggs-fantastic!! love your blog

    • Thanks Karina! if you’ve got an egg allergy then yes, you can use them to bake with but if you can eat eggs I say go ahead as they’re nutrient dense little numbers.

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