Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why I'm Addicted to Chia Seeds

As much as I credit Medifast for helping me melt off 35 pounds a couple of years ago, I never envisioned eating space food forever. Nor did I wish to follow the Medifast maintenance plan, which is way too high in carbohydrates and low in fats to be satiating, healthy or sustaining.

So once I reached my ideal weight, I parted ways with Medifast and started a new adventure to discover a healthy diet I could adhere to on a permanent basis.

Which ultimately led me to chia seeds.
This chia pudding recipe from
the Food Network blog uses
almond milk, lemon and cinnamon.

If I had to name just one food that has helped me keep my weight off, it is this low-carb superfood loaded with fiber, protein, antioxidants, Omega 3 and a cornucopia of crucial minerals like iron, calcium and selenium.

Because chia seeds contain a ton of soluble fiber, they are a great prebiotic, which is necessary for probiotics to thrive.

Chia seeds can absorb 12 times their weight in water; so they slow down the process of digestive enzymes converting carbohydrates into blood sugar. They are credited with helping to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases.

About two months ago I started consuming chia seeds daily for health reasons and was happily surprised at an unexpected side effect.

I lost five pounds without changing anything else I was doing.

(And to think that for decades Americans thought the best use of chia seeds was to sprout them as hair for Chia Pets instead of, uh, eating them as, you know, food?)

If you see chia seeds in the grocery store, they look a lot like gravel. Fortunately, they are relatively tasteless and can be sneakily hidden into most any food or drink without affecting the flavor. Here are the two main ways I consume chia seeds.

Chia Fresca

Add a spoonful of chia seeds to a mixture of lemon juice and water. The chia seeds soak up the liquid and turn into gel balls, transforming my refreshing lemon water into the texture of Japanese bubble tea.

Chia Pudding 

Mix about one cup of unsweetened almond milk with two cups of canned full-fat coconut milk and then add a splash of vanilla extract, Lacanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener to taste and 3/4 cup of chia seeds. This makes several servings of lunch, which I either eat plain or top with blueberries, pomegranate seeds and/or walnuts. You could omit the Lacanto or use a different sweetener, but monkfruit/erythritol is currently my favorite not-sugar and works well in this recipe.

This morning I started researching other ways to use chia seeds in recipes and found out you can "bread" foods without breadcrumbs if you combine chia seeds with almond flour and Parmesan cheese. You can also sprinkle chia seeds on salads or any other food to add a slightly nutty texture and tons of health benefits.

Don't pay any heed to people who say you have to grind chia seeds to make them bioavailable; they're conflating chia with flax seeds. Chia seeds have much thinner shells that dissolve quickly; so the nutrients are easily absorbed.

However, the one way you should NOT consume chia seeds is to eat them plain and chase them with water. Apparently one man who tried this ended up with a glob of chia gel stuck to his esophagus, and this stubbornly sticky mass had to be surgically removed.

1 comment:

  1. Good sharing, for healthy purpose, Chia seeds offer the highest volume of Omega-3, as well as addition fiber (soluble and insoluble) along with vitamins or perhaps minerals you don’t usually get whenever you take sea food oil. Chia seeds giving you long lasting energy during the day moving in deep, restful sleep during the night time. May read this article about Chia seeds at:
    http://kidbuxblog.com/chia-seeds-is-the-most-extremely-versatile-superfood-and-vegetarian-supply-of-omega-3/

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