When Chia seeds was classified as a super food a few years ago it was hideously expensive. Not so anymore. You can now buy a kilogram of Chia seed for about R130 and enjoy the wholesome goodness thereof.
Chia originates from Mexico and in the Mayan language it means “strength”. It was first used to enhance endurance, because it is very effective in increasing energy levels. It is popular amongst athletes to help build healthy muscle tissue and aids in repairing muscles after exercise.
Chia is a well balanced source of protein, fats and fibre. It is naturally gluten free and a very good source of plant protein (21g of protein per 100g of seeds). It is a good source of low GI carbs and it is Banting friendly (33g of carbs per 100g of seeds, but 24g of fibre, so in effect it is only 9g carbs per 100g of seeds). Chia is suitable for diabetics. It balances blood sugar levels, which means that it avoids spikes and drops in blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds can absorb 12 times its weight in fluid and it forms a gel that can be used in many different ways. The minimum soaking time is 15 minutes, but I prefer to soak it over night.
Because it absorbs so much fluid, it is highly effective in reducing symptoms of acid re-flux. It simply absorbs excessive stomach acid. It is easily digested and because of its high fibre levels, it is also a good prebiodic.
Chia is very rich in Calcium, therefore it builds stronger bones. It also enhances oral health and together with high Zinc levels, it prevents plaque from miniralizing into tartar.
Because it absorbs fluid, it aids in weight loss and helps you not to feel hungry for longer. Because it is a super food with exceptionally high levels of minerals and vitamins, it reduces cravings.
Chia is very good for heart health and cholesterol levels, as it contains more Omega 3 than salmon. For the same reason it aids concentration and focus in ADHD and ADD children.
Chia seed has exceptionally high antioxidant levels and clinical tests show that it can reduce up to 70% of free radical activity.
Chia is easy to grow and makes beautiful purple flowers, which is born on long stems. Simply scatter the seeds on the ground, cover with a thin layer of soil and water daily. When the flowers are almost finished blooming, most of the petals have fallen, cut off the flower heads and place in a paper bag. The seeds will fall out and can be easily separated from the other plant parts and the seeds can be used straight away.
As a time saver, pre-prepare your Chia gel. It will last well in the fridge up to a week. 1 cup of Chia seed to 4 cups of water. Store it in a glass jar in the fridge. Add the gel to yoghurt, porrige, granola, smoothies, icetea, seedbars, seedcrackers or fresh fruit salad. Try to consume at least 3 table spoons of Chia gel every day. With winter around the corner, Chia works very well in soup.
Chia and cauliflower soup (makes 2 litres):
1 litre hot water
Half a cauliflower in warm water to soften
Half an avocado
Quarter cup Chia seeds
Quarter cup cashews or macadamias
1 garlic clove
1 table spoon hemp or olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Blend with a high speed blender and serve with crusty bread or crackers.
The perfect Raw Real Food!