Chia seeds were prized by ancient cultures as a source of sustainable energy. In fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength. A tiny nutrition powerhouse, Chia is rich in dietary fiber and contains significant amounts of minerals and vitamins. One ounce of Chia seeds provides calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus among other micronutrients, very little fat, and just 138 calories.
With a high amount of antioxidants and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, there are many health benefits associated with Chia seeds. Some studies indicate that people who regularly consume chia seeds have a lower risk for diabetes and heart disease. Chia is considered energizing and hydrating, which is why the seeds are often added to teas, smoothies, kombucha, and sports drinks.
It’s simple to add Chia seeds to your diet. Since the seeds are bland, you can add them to just about any dish or beverage without changing its flavor. Mix chia into cereal, oatmeal, pudding, or yogurt, or blend into a smoothie. Chia seeds can be soaked in juice and added to baked goods. Also, you can eat raw seeds. If you’re new to chia, start with about one tablespoon a day until you get used to the fiber content. A typical serving is 1.5 tablespoon twice a day, or about 20 grams.
Peach-Spinach Chia Smoothie
Sip-for-delicious-sip, except for the color, you’ll hardly notice the spinach in this green smoothie. Frozen peaches create a slushy-sweet base further enhanced by apple juice. Chia seeds give an energizing boost to this yummy low-cal and nutrient rich beverage. Perfectly refreshing after a long workout.
- 1 1/2 c. frozen peaches
- 1 c. apple juice
- 1/2 c. water
- 2 T. chia seeds
- 1 1/2 c. baby spinach leaves
- Combine the peaches, apple juice, water, chia seeds, and spinach leaves in a blender; puree until smooth, about one minute. Serve immediately.