Ask Me About Them Chia Seeds

Nutritious chia seeds on a wooden spoon

Nikki Robbins
 
Fitness and nutrition. Exercise and food. Bodybuilding and weight loss. Workout and… chia seeds!
 
What are the nutrition facts for chia seeds?
 
What are the benefits of chia seeds?
 
How should I use chia seeds?
 
Yes, chia seeds are the new craze and you guys are asking about them, so let’s learn some basics!
 
Chia is a seed that comes from a desert plant. First, we recommend always buying the certified organic chia seeds. Although the FDA is not perfect in their approval process, it is better than nothing! The seeds tend to have alight nutty taste, are completely odorless, and therefore, are super EASY TO ADD TO RECIPES. Scroll down to my healthy chia seed recipe.
 
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, contain 20% protein, and for a bonus, that PROTEIN CONTAINS ALL ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS.1 VEGETARIANS! Meet your new best friend. A vegetarian protein option with all amino acids present; no more combining multiple foods to get your perfect mix of aminos. They also are a healthy source for omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, calcium, and antioxidants.3
 
There is no founddifference between the colors of chia seeds. They seem to carry the same nutrient value and benefit. 6
 

THE NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF CHIA SEEDS:2

Chia seed nutritional facts

 

THE BENEFITS

 
Eat chia after your workouts! Chia is believed to decrease recovery time from cardiovascular workouts by encouraging muscle tissue repair. Cardiovascular workouts include everything on this site, by the way. 🙂
 
Some studies show chia seeds aiding in weight loss because of the seed expanding in your belly, which makes you feel like you need to eat less. Another study over a 12-week period did not see any appetite change or weight loss. The same study did show healthy benefits for the heart though. 3
 
Another potential weight loss factor could be added when chia seeds are added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes. The chia forms a gel. Some researchers say this reaction happens within the stomach, slowing the process of carbohydrate breakdown. When this process is slowed, the carbohydrate doesn’t convert to sugar as fast. Therefore, you have more time to burn the calories, and depending on when you eat it, your body might not store the sugars as fat. 4 All this to say, chia seeds are food, not a supplement. So treat it like food! It is not a magic weight loss seed.
 
Roizen and Mehemet Oz, MD, claim that chia seeds have higher antioxidant activity than any other whole food. For antioxidant purposes, they recommend a little less 2 TBSP (dry seeds) twice a day. 3
 
The Aztecs used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.4
 
The only downside to chia I could find is if you have food allergies, (similar to allergy from sesame or mustard seeds). Be cautious if you are aware of this allergy.
 

HOW TO USE CHIA SEEDS

A couple of options:
 
1)    Make Chia gel.

  • The ratio is 9:1. For example, mix 1/3 cup of dry chia seeds in 3 cups of water. You can change the ratio based on how thick you like your gel.
  • Let it stand for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
  • This gel can be used to thicken soups or smoothies, as an egg replacement, binder in bean patties or meat loafs, or added to (my favorite) oatmeal for a super breakfast.

 
2)    Drink them

  • Add to any liquid.
  • Leave for 2 minutes. 5
  • Drink up!

 
3)    Add them to a recipe. (See below for an example.)
 
Always consider your macro-profile, especially if you are using a Body Temple System. They are NOT a starchy carb. The have a pretty close macro breakdown, but mainly are carbohydrates. You may use them as your protein, but consider the amount of carbs as well.
 
Lastly, drink a good amount of fluids around consumption of chia seeds. Because they soak up fluid, the seeds can cause stomach cramping if you lack fluid. 6

 

HEALTHY CHIA SEED RECIPE:

 

Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Chia Burgers

 
Serves 4ish
 

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. free range organic chicken, minced
  • 1 cup cooked organic quinoa
  • 1 cup grated organic carrot
  • 1 cup grated organic zucchini
  • 3tbsp organic parsley, finely chopped
  • 3-4tsp organic chia seeds
  • 1tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1tsp organic fine ground pepper
  • organic tomato
  • organic butter lettuce
  • organic red onions (optional)
  • raw mild cheddar cheese (optional)
  • organic whole grain mustard (optional)
  • Mix chicken, quinoa, carrot, zucchini, parsley, chia seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Hand form 5 patties.
  • Grill them!
  • Wrap the cooked patties in a large leaf of butter lettuce. Top with tomato, red onion, raw cheese, and mustard.

 

Preparation:

  • Mix chicken, quinoa, carrot, zucchini, parsley, chia seeds, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Hand form 5 patties.
  • Grill them!
  • Wrap the cooked patties in a large leaf of butter lettuce. Top with tomato, red onion, raw cheese, and mustard.

 







 
References

1 (2014). Chia Seeds Nutritional Data and Facts. Retrieved from http://www.getchia.com/t/cnut

2 (2014). Calories in Superfruit Chia Seeds Organic. Retrieved from http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/superfruit-chia-seeds-organic-35733234

3 Zelman, K. M. (2014). The Truth About Chia: Can chia seeds really help you lose weight?  Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-chia

Weil, A. (May 15, 2016). Q & A Library: What is Chia?. Retrieved from http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA365093/Chia-for-Health.html

5  Mullins, B. (August 3, 2011). Why Eat Chia Seeds?  Retrieved from http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2011/08/why-eat-chia-seeds/

6   Coates, W. (2012). Chia Seeds: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/chia-seeds-frequently-asked-questions/

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