Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

The magic of chia seeds

3 Comments

We found a new superfood this week. Chia seeds (which, incidentally, are the very same seeds used to grow chia pets).

My husband was introduced to chia seeds in Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run book. He purchased them on Saturday,  ate 1/4 of a cup of chia seeds with his cereal for breakfast on Sunday and then proceeded to  run his best 16km ever, shaving off 15 minutes. And, he wasn’t tired afterwards. In fact, he felt like he could have comfortably run another 10 km.

Wow!

What are chia seeds?

Chia seeds are harvested from the Salvia hispanica plant, a type of sage in the mint family.

Chia seeds

It doesn’t taste like anything (they are small little crunchy black seeds — they remind me of the consistency of kiwi seeds) that you can add to your yogurt, cereal, etc. You can also bake with them.  Chia seeds absorb a lot of water and can be used to make a gel that one can substitute for oil or other fats in a variety of recipes.

Benefits of chia seeds:

  • it balances blood sugar;
  • is rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), calcium, potassium, iron, and other antioxidants
  • increases your energy levels;
  • it’s a good source of fiber;
  • it reduces your cravings for food;
  • it fills you up;
  • it helps the body retain fluids and electrolytes;
  • it forms a gel in the stomach that slows the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar;
  • it helps build muscle and other tissues;
  • it’s a source of boron, which aids in the absorption of calcium; and
  • it is good for your intestinal health (i.e., it helps prevent diverticulitus).

For general health for adults, the recommended daily dosage of chia seeds is 1 to 2 tablespoons, and about 1/2 tablespoon for children.

I’m now adding chia seeds to my yogurt in the morning (along with hemp hearts [another super food] and fruit, such as blueberries).

We haven’t started Moses on chia seeds yet, but we plan to try him with a bit of it tomorrow and see how he does. Interestingly, my acupuncturist mentioned chia seeds to me a year ago as something that could be beneficial for Moses, but we were reluctant to try something new at the time.

For Moses, I’m particularly excited about chia seeds as it’s a great source of omega-3s and antioxidants. Given that Moses can’t eat fish, I have been a bit concerned about his omega-3 levels. We have been giving him flax seed oil for this purpose, but this gives him another source of omega 3 oils.

For more information, there’s a great article about the benefits of chia seeds here.

Updates:
June 15: Moses is eating chia seeds with no problems (i.e., he’s not allergic / sensitive to them).  Yay!

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3 thoughts on “The magic of chia seeds

  1. I’m not sure how easy it is for you to find hemp hearts and chia seeds (or the price you have to pay!!), but I’ve been using this product since I saw it on Dragon’s Den: http://www.holycrap.ca
    Mike and I both love it (he eats the original Holy Crap and I go with the Skinny B). I put it in my homemade yogurt with a little fruit for breakfast and I’m usually good until lunch!

  2. Hi Lisa: Great minds think alike! I’ve been eating so much hemp hearts, so I’ve been buying them directly from the supplier at a very good cost ($100 with shipping for enough hemp hearts to last me 9 months or so). The chia seeds we are getting at bulk barn for $13 for a lb (definitely more pricey than the hemp hearts). Good to know about Holy Crap — I’d never heard of it before. Great idea for sure!

  3. Pingback: Simple glutenfree and dairyfree meal ideas « Raising a Sensitive Child

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