While chia seeds have only recently been introduced and developed into a trend in Europe, the small energy boosters have a more than 5000-year history in South and Central America.
Back then the Mayas’ warriors, messengers and athletes appreciated the healthy and energizing characteristics of the seeds – it wasn’t for nothing that the Mayas call them “chia”, meaning “power” and “force”.
Mexican cuisine swears by the long-lasting feeling and fullness of chia seeds.
Here in Europe the seeds are mostly purchased online and in health-food stores, but they are becoming increasingly available in well-stocked supermarkets.
The seeds can be stored for several years, due to their long shelf life.
Besides the fact that chia seeds contain twice as much potassium as bananas, and three times as much iron as spinach, health experts like to emphasize the fact that the seeds have three times as many antioxidants as blueberries.
They also contain high quantities of essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6. Sufficient intake of fatty acids can prevent high blood pressure and other heart diseases, and has a very positive effect on the immune system.
High nutritional content combined with comparatively few calories make these small power boosters very effective partners in the fight against excess pounds. They are also a great source of energy and high-quality protein which help build muscles and activate your metabolism.
Their soluble fibers decelerate the breakdown of carbohydrates to sugar, thus supplying the body with energy for a longer period of time. Many endurance athletes higly appreciate this effect.
Chia seeds are good for pregnant women, who benefit from the nutrient density being of high value when new life is developing.
Due to the fact that chia seeds don’t have a strong taste, they can be used in many variations.
In order to create a unique but delicious dessert, add 4 tablespoons of chia seeds to almond milk and leave it in the fridge for two or three hours. After this, add (according to your preference) a bit of vanilla sugar, maple syrup or cinnamon –
Another healthy recipe “hides” the chia seeds in a green smoothie. There are numerous variations you can try.
The vital rule is that the green smoothie must be 1/3 green (e.g. spinach or salad) and 2/3 fruit. Following this, garnish with a tablespoon of chia.
One classic example is as follows: One apple, half a banana, and the juice from an orange. Two handfulls of lettuce and a tablespoon of chia seeds. Blend everything and voilà: you have a vitamin and mineral bomb!
About the author
Peter Böhm is a fitness expert and passionate power athlete who has had an interest in a healthy and balanced living for many years. He is also the founder and author of the fitness and lifestyle blog www.aesthetics-blog.com.
Picture source: www.methodjuicecafe.com
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