supplement spotlight: chia seeds

There’s a lot in the news about Essential Fatty Acids.  You know, those Omega-3s and Omega-6s that are so good for us?  The ones you find in fish … and fish oil … and the like?

Well … perhaps because I’m an on again off again vegetarian … or maybe I just have a thing about fish oil … but I struggle with fish oil (and sometimes I struggle with fish).

I’ve tried.  But I can’t get past the fishy burps and nausea I get when I take the fish oil supplements.  Was that too gross to share?  Sorry.  But it’s true!  There’s little worse than a fishy oil burp … for me, anyway.

And when I was pregnant with little #2, my doctor and midwife wanted me to increase my EFA intake (great for fetal brain development, don’tcha know … and not so bad for pregnancy brain, either.)  But I didn’t want to risk fish oil (pregnancy nausea PLUS fish burps?  Are you kidding me?!?  Thank you, no).

So I had to find another way to increase the EFAs.

Which is when I discovered the glory of the Chia Seed.

chia seeds

Did you hear the angels sing and see the clouds part as the sun shone in?

Me either. 🙂

chia pet

Okay … so they aren’t a miracle-seed.  BUT, besides growing into adorable Cha-Cha-Cha-ChI-YA-Pets, these wonderful little seeds are one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids.

And the more I find out about them, the more pleased I am that they’ve found their way into our daily diet.

They were originally grown in Mexico and South America for centuries (until the Europeans moved in), and were a staple in the diets of the Aztec and Mayans.  Chia apparently means “strength” … and these little seeds were considered a “super food” for ages.  Soldiers would often live on chia seeds when they were in battle because they were said to imbue the soldiers with strength and stamina.  They were, however, banned at some point for religious reasons (they were used in offerings to Aztec gods).

It wasn’t until recently that they found their way back into our consciousness.  And scientists are now positing that Chia seeds can help stabilize blood sugar, increase brain power.  They are 20 percent protein.  Are jam-packed with digestible fiber, calcium and antioxidants.  They have strontium (which helps assimilate protein) and can help with weightloss by boosting metabolism and promoting lean muscle.  There’s evidence that these tiny little nutty-tasting seeds can help reduce blood pressure and encourage heart health.  They’ve also been shown to aid in detoxification and elimination.

See what I mean?

They’re so little, but boy-O do they pack a punch!

So we use Chia seeds in our house.  Almost daily.

We add them to smoothies.

Mix them into oatmeal.

Put them in yogurt.

Drink them in kombucha (a teaspoon of chia seeds in 8 oz of kombucha is a special treat, actually).

And add them to cookies and cakes and other baked goods.

Such an easy way to get good stuff into everyone …

with no fish burps!