Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

This week I feel like talking about Salvia Columbariae, otherwise known at CHIA—yes, go ahead and sing that song from the commercial in your head, I know I am..”Ch Ch Ch Chia.”  The common name, Chia, derives from the Mayan word chiabann, meaning “strengthening.”   For centuries this little seed was a staple food of the Mayans and Aztecs, who even used it as currency. Chia is a tiny seed, usually black or white, and is full of health benefits!
Now you may know Chia only as the novelty, The Chia Pet. Same seed, just don’t eat those, they might have been preserved with chemicals…the ones you can buy at the store are food grade and are safe.

Chia is considered a SUPER FOOD and here are just some of the reasons why:

*It has the ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water(that’s about how I feel every 28 days-ugh!). If you put a spoonful of Chia in a glass of water and come back 30 minutes later you’ll see almost a solid gelatin(stop by my desk today if you want to see my science experiment!). That’s due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. The scientists say that same “gel-forming”  takes place in the stomach and creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, which slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. That’s great news for diabetics for sure, but this also creates endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for our bodies, and the longer we can use them for good until they turn into sugar the better! (that’s the feeling you get after you eat really starchy foods-that slump you feel an hour or two after you eat that huge bowl of cereal or muffin for breakfast)

*Chia seed’s  ability to hold water helps US retain moisture and stay hydrated, which helps us absorb nutrients better.

*Remember last week when I talked about fish and Omega -3? Well if you don’t like fish…eat Chia seeds! Apparently it has more Omega-3 than salmon!

*You can actually substitute half of the butter in most baked goods with Chia gel…ok, it sounds gross and may even look gross, but you’ll get used to it! All you need to do is divide the amount of butter or oil in half and then use the same amount of Chia gel to fill in.
Make your own Chia gel! Put 1 cup of liquid (water or juice) into a Ziploc bag. Slowly pour 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds into the water while briskly mixing with a wire whisk. Wait a couple minutes, then whisk again. Let stand for 10 minutes. Whisk again. This will keep up to 2  weeks in your fridge. Add this to jams, oatmeal, yogurt, bbq sauce, tartar sauce, and baked goods.

*Add calcium to your diet by eating Chia! It contains the mineral boron which helps the body absorb calcium.

* Chia actually keeps you feeling full longer, which makes you want to eat less, which helps you lose weight! They take on the flavor of whatever you have added it to and has no calories! It’s gelling action makes your body think it’s full, so your stomach doesn’t tell your brain…”Hey send down some food!”…because it’s full!

One of my favorite ways to get a dose of Chia is to make a quick breakfast smoothie.

Orange Mango Cream Smoothie
I.5 cups orange juice
½ cup ripe mango
Half of a banana
2 heaping tbsp plain yogurt (Greek is my favorite)
1 tbsp of Chia seeds (or your pre-made chia gel!)

Now, if you havn’t made chia gel ahead, then soak the seeds in the OJ for 10 min. Then put all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy. Pour it in your To Go cup and drive to work!

Have a Healthy Week!

DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

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