i eat: chia seeds

Posted on May 20th, 2010

Dip Chia seeds are everywhere. Yeah, you’ve noticed? If you’re new to their magic, they’re a South American seed – a bit like a poppy seed. My understanding is that Western Australia are now the biggest producers of it in the world. There are a few Australian chia suppliers around, and you can buy them at all health food shops. I’ve seen them at Woolies, too.

So why do I love the slippery little suckers? Well, they are the most nutritious superfood on the planet (according to some). They contain:

  • 8 x more Omega-3 EFA’s than salmon
  • 7 x more Vitamin C than oranges
  • 6 x more fibre than oat bran
  • 5 x more calcium than milk
  • 4 x higher antioxidants than blueberries
  • 3 x more iron than spinach
  • 2 x more potassium than bananas
  • 15 x more magnesium than broccoli
  • 18 amino acids
  • Vitamin A and B12
  • complete protein (23%)

PLUS the little buggers absorb 17 x their weight in water…so they fill you up, as well as keep everything moving through you a treat. They also  hydrate (although I personally suggest drinking A LOT of water when you eat chia, or you might get clogged, if yaknowwhatimean).

PLUS If you soak chia seeds in water for about 30 minutes, you will get a glass of almost solid gelatin (soluble fibre). When you eat chia, these fibres, known as mucilages, form this gel-like texture in the stomach, creating a barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, slowing the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar…so they can be a natural aid in controlling diabetes!

This is how I eat them:

I sprinkle a teaspoon on my cereal each morning

I make gluten-free pumpkin muffins. Add them to any baked stuff, but you will have to add extra liquid to compensate

Nutritionist Angela Hywood makes this each morning: kefir, chia seeds and frozen berries blended together to form a smoothie (you can replace the kefir with yoghurt).

I sprinkle them in stir-fries, just at the end before serving.

For some extra recipes, check out The Chia Co‘s site.

Convinced? You should be.

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  • http://anon.com kk

    Thanks for sharing sarah! I’m going to hunt some of these new super foods down…. it’s all new news to me x

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  • http://heatherfeatherworld.wordpress.com Heather

    I have been acquainted with the delicious chia seed for a while now and I love it! I love eating them simply sprinkled all over a bowl of chopped fruit, especially pineapple. I also like to make raw chocolate or vanilla chia pudding – a vrey healthy dessert! I will post a link to the recipe when I eventually put it on my humble little food blog :)

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  • http://www.tonicaustralia.com.au Angela Hywood

    Heather, in the meantime, I would love to try your raw chocolate or vanilla Chia pudding! Please do post that recipe!

    Here is my Berry Chia Kefir (breakfast!)

    1 cup kefir or yoghurt
    1 cup frozen berries
    1 tablespoon Chai seeds
    Dash of maple syrup if you need a bit of sweetness (organic)
    Blend in handblender

    Delicious!!

    Angela

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  • http://sparkleandglitter.co.uk Vixel

    You have me rather intregued, so I’ve just purchased 250g of chia seeds to try!

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  • http://notthebigneedle.blog.com/ Not The Big Needle

    Good article promoting a healthy lifestyle.
    Just to clarify – the body is not that efficient at converting plant-based Omega 3′s, as it is fish based, so the claim that Chia seeds contain 8 times more Omega 3s as salmon doesn’t tell the whole story. For folks with high cholesterol, it would still be worth eating fish.
    And you may want to be careful promoting Angela Hywood. Dieticians are university trained, but anyone can claim to be a nutritionist. Her website speaks for itself when it:
    a) condemns mobile phones as having enough radiation to cook popcorn (a hoax from a few years back – http://www.snopes.com/science/cookegg.asp),
    b) promotes detox, the leading pseudo-science of the early 21st century, and
    c) suggests people who tried herbal medicine without success either tried the wrong herb or a poor quality product. Option 3, that herbal medicine is by and large ineffective doesn’t seem to rate a mention.

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  • http://notthebigneedle.blog.com/ Not The Big Needle

    BTW – if you’re going to New York, and you want to meet someone who makes life better, head to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, and ask for Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He’s the director of the Hayden Planetarium there, and is a renowned science educator. A humorous and educational speaker (check him out on YouTube) he was also voted “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” in 2000.

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  • Laura

    I’ve been seeing chia seeds everywhere – will have to give them a go.
    which ones do you prefer Sarah? white or black?

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  • martyn

    Chia is a great seed which has many benefits and alot of research is just coming out now. Unfortunaetly Australia isnt the world’s biggest chia seed producer and that can easily be proven otherwise. Also a thing to be careful of that the Australian Chia seed has less Omega 3 properties than that of the Original South American variety. Chia is a wonderful seed and should be consumed as much as possible because the benefits are truely amazing.

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  • Laura

    I bought some this morning, and chucked them in with my breakfast muesli :) Thanks Sarah xo

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  • http://emanuelperdis.com Emanuel

    Compelling indeed, very informative too… Not to crash hot about it turning into a jelly state after absorbing so much water but I guess its much better than Metamucil powder for weight loss(giving you a sense of satiety – fullness)and fibre for regularity. Metamucil has aspartame as its natural sweetener. How they taste would have been a treat to know.

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  • sue irvin

    My favourite desert at the moment is Barambah Natural Yoghurt, blueberries, raspberries and chia seeds. Am having a sordid love affair with this combination of delisciousness.

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  • Lauren

    I’m new to Chia seeds too I picked a big jar up from Coles supermarket for just $9.05 and 1tblsp is the recommended intake so it will take a long time to be through them. I absolutely love chia seeds sprinkled on natural Greek yoghurt.

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