Remember the first time you saw a commercial for Chia Pets, those funny looking planters that come in different animal shapes? My favorite though is the one of a man’s head… one minute he’s bald and the next minute, he’s got a head full of chia.
Well, those same chia seeds used to grow “hair” (which is really just chia sprouts) on your Chia Pet actually have amazing health benefits. *** BTW, the chia seeds you get in a Chia Pet have not been approved as food from the FDA so get yours from a legit health-food store or online from a reputable distributor.
Can You Eat Chia Seeds?
Chia is an edible seed that has been around since 3500BC. These seeds are mild tasting and sort of have a nutty flavor. In fact, chia was a staple in the diet of the ancient Aztec & Mayan people. In addition, the Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain & sore skin.
Chia seeds are considered a “superfood” because they are super nutritious. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids as well as tons of vitamins & minerals and they are an excellent source of fiber. They are packed with antioxidants and are full of protein. In fact, chia seeds contain 5 times more calcium than milk, 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 3 times more iron than spinach, twice the potassium content of banana and 8 times more omega-3 than salmon! To read more about the astounding benefits of chia seeds, read this great article from Health Ambition.
Because of all the nutrients, chia seeds MIGHT be an easy way for cancer patients build up their strength after chemo. Plus chia seeds help keep you hydrated (which is soooo important during cancer treatments). When inside your body, these seeds can soak up to 10x their weight in water, thus helping you stay hydrated longer, and retain electrolytes in your bodily fluids. Chia seeds can also help build up your immune system and enhance your energy & endurance. Fox News Correspondent & Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor Jennifer Griffin, swears by eating chia seeds. (Check out her blog, it’s awesome!) *** CAVEAT: Check with your medical team before adding chia to your diet.
It’s super easy to incorporate Chia into your daily diet.
Here are some simples ways to add chia to your cancer-fighting diet…
“Chia Fresca”- Mix 1 Tbsp chia seeds in 10 oz. of water, let stand for 10 minutes or so until a gel is formed. Add fresh lime or lemon juice, and a bit of Stevia or evaporated cane sugar.
Welcome Additions- Add ground or whole chia seeds to soy yogurt, salads and smoothies.
Breakfast of Champions- Sprinkle seeds on cold cereal, or stir in oatmeal for a tasty and nutritious meal.
Magic Muffins- When chia seeds are combined with a liquid, water, dairy alternative or yogurt, they form a gel-like consistency―which makes them great for vegan baking. Use chia as an egg replacer―just mix the seeds with flour to make muffins or other baked goods.
Thicker and Thicker- Chia seeds can absorb 10 times their own weight of liquid, so use them as a thickener in recipes.
Try this recipe for Simple Chia Seed Pudding from Kale & Chocolate
½ cup chia seeds
2 cups plant-based milk (almond, cashew, hemp, coconut)
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Mix & Match Add Ins
½-1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
2-3 teaspoons lemon zest, orange zest or lime zest
Matcha green tea powder
2 tablespoons raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
½-1 cup fresh or thawed frozen berries blended into the mixture
Pour all ingredients into a bowl. Stir until well combined. Allow to sit for 30 minutes whisking every 10 minutes until mixture thickens. Place in the refrigerator and store for several hours or overnight. Check for desired thickness and flavor. Adjust if needed. When ready to serve, spoon into bowls (or store in mason jars) and top with fresh berries. Enjoy as breakfast, a midday snack, or satisfying dessert!
Keeps in refrigerator for up to 4 days.