Remember those little green sprouting ceramic pets we all had back in the 80s? You know, the one where you mixed the little seeds with water and brushed it onto a little pig or sheep terracotta figure and watched it grow a bushy little garden “fur” coat. Well, I bet you never thought those little chia pets were the same chia seeds known today as a wonderfood!
As raw foodist Angela Stokes points out in her post, Chia seeds are a longtime superfood for the Mayan and Aztec cultures. They provide large amounts of protein and calcium and are easily absorbed and digested by mixing into a gel with a small bit of water. You can also grind up these chia babies into a flour and bake or cook with them.
They are a fantastic source of soluble and insoluble fiber (about half and half) and will aid with daily elimination. The soluble fiber will help bind matter in the gut to reduce cholesterol and the insoluble fiber will help keep your BMs regular. A good daily fiber ration for insoluble to soluble fiber is 3:1.
Ayurveda practitioner John Douillard offered me advice once to use chia seeds to improve the absorption of nutrients and to take it regularly for my digestive health. So, I of course rushed to add it to a favorite food of mine – Cookies! Yes, I modified a lemon poppy seed cookie recipe with chia seeds and it was delish!
The nutrients in Chia seeds are better absorbed when the outer layers of the seeds are broken down. Now, I recommend the more conventional way of ingesting chia seeds, soaking them in water for 10 min – 1 hour, to obtain a much greater amount of the nutrients, but I can’t say baking them whole wasn’t fun. =)
Chia seeds can be found at Whole Foods Market and other natural grocers as well as everywhere online. As always, organic chia seeds are best, but might be a bit pricey. Here’s a link to the great article by Angela Stokes and wiki’s thoughts, which provide even more background on chia and some recipes.