I’m going to ask you to trust me on this.
Yes, you can eat chia seeds.
Yes, that chia.
Not only am I going to ask you to trust me on this, I’m going to ask you to run out and buy some today. Why? Because if you’re like me, you don’t eat enough fish to get your essential omega-3 fatty acids and, if you’re like me, you’ve had a bag of flax seeds in your freezer for a year but haven’t finally purchased a grinder to use them. (Note: you gotta grind up those flax seeds before you use ’em, and the pre-ground flax can go rancid quickly.)
“But, Jen”, you ask, “why do I even give a fig about omega-whatzit-fatty-huh?”
I’ll tell you why, tough guy!
Because according to the American Heart Association, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been found to:
- decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
- decrease triglyceride levels
- decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
- lower blood pressure (slightly)
(That means a healthier heart and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.)
“But what does this all have to do with ch-ch-ch-chia seeds?”
Chia seeds are incredibly rich in something called alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), which converts to omega-3 fatty acids in your body, like magic! Even better, they’re even richer in the ALA than flax aaaaand you don’t have to grind ’em up. They’re also a good source of fiber and according to Dr. Andrew Weil:
“…when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.”
(That means you may end up feeling fuller for longer.)
“So, okay, okay, fine. I’ll try the darn things. But how?”
I’m glad you asked.
Sprinkle them on your cereal, throw them into a smoothie, blend them with yogurt, top a salad with a tablespoon. Be creative. Yesterday, I made a morning smoothie with the following:
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 10 frozen strawberries
- 1 T chia seeds
- 1 T oat bran
- 1 T agave nectar
- 1 T soy protein powder
- 1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 c. water
I had enough energy to completely reorganize my desk and get work done that I’d been putting off for months! I was a regular Superwoman and I’ll thank the chia seeds for that.
And see how pretty they are? Like little stones!
So, you have your mission. Buy a bag at your local natural food store or co-op. (Um, yeah, don’t eat the ones that come in the Chia Pet box, thanks.)
Try them and see what you think.
And don’t worry. You won’t sprout green hair.