chia-seeds

Chi, Chi, Chi, Chia!

I’m in love with chia… what can I say.  Not only is it a full spectrum nutritional powerhouse, but there’s just something about it that keeps me feeling better than usual every time I have it.

For centuries chia was prized by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations.  It was a true staple food, and a special key in the Aztec warrior’s diet.  It’s been documented that warriors subsisted on chia seeds during battles and long hunting expeditions.  Basically what this is telling you is that this food can truly sustain you and help you to thrive during long periods of stress (I guess this is why I’m so in love with it).

The first factor in chia’s resilience and value as a superfood is its excellent ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids.  It’s likely the highest natural source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).

ALA is a building block for the transformation of EPA into DHA, which basically means that it’s a POTENT brain food!

Chia boasts a remarkable ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s at a 3:1 ratio respectively.  This is so important in our world today where approximately 90 percent of American adults are deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids.  Omega 3’s are critical for heart health, neurological health, joint health and more.  Additionally, a diet too high in Omega 6’s has been found to cause severe problems in all of those systems.  The solution:  Add more chia seeds to your diet.

Chia is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.  This is very rare for a seed or nut to be a complete protein, but you find it here in chia at19 to 23 percent by weight.  This type of highly-digestible protein provides your body with the structural building blocks to regenerate itself.

The most notable quality of chia seeds are their exceptional gel-forming ability.  In order for chia to protect itself in dryer climates, it comes equipped with a mucilloid gel that’s unlike any other food known.  The closest thing is flax seeds, but chia is able to absorb 2 times as much water as flax.  Chia is hydrophilic (water-loving) and the gel that it creates when introduced to liquid is very soothing and regenerative to the gastrointestinal tract.

Chia’s gel-forming ability is also the reason that it’s able satiate the human body for longer period of time.  It slows the release of nutrients into your system so that you get MORE nutrient uptake from the foods your eating.  Plus, it literally provides a healthy “thickness” to your food that keep you feeling full, yet comfortable longer.

Here’s how to use chia for the greatest results:

Take a glass jar (mason jars work well)

Fill it 1/3 of the way with organic chia seeds

Fill the jar the rest of the way with pure water and whisk it around so that all of the seeds are exposed to the water.

Put a lid on it and store it in the refrigerator for easy use

After about 30 minutes it will form a nice gel with a pudding-like consistency.  Take 3 to 4 tbsp as needed to add to your smoothies and other dishes.  ALWAYS keep a sacred chia jar in your refrigerator.

Here’s my favorite variety of chia seeds: Organic Chia Seeds

Another way to utilize chia is with the traditional drink called Chia Fresca.  Here’s a simple recipe:

*12 ounces of cold spring water

*1 tbsp of dry chia seeds

*2 tsp of lemon or lime juice

*A pinch of sea salt

*Raw honey to taste

Stir the seeds into the water.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes, stir again and enjoy.  The longer it sits, the more gel it will form.  Unlike other superfood seeds, chia does not have to me chewed to unlock all of its benefits.

What recipes do you use chia for?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

 

  • Seth B

    I love chia seeds and promote them. I typically use them soaked in water and add a few other spices or superfood powders to them, such as cacao powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, maca, or goji berries. I tend to them and stir them occaisionally, usually just swirling my glass vortex style sending good vibes to the drink before and during drinking it. I love how they make hunger go away and keep me hydrated longer, and I adore their affordability. I don’t even tap into their full versatility yet, but I do enjoy them nonetheless. It is also my hope that I will master my own homemade version of uli mana’s chia mood drops, maybe putting my own variation or twist into it. I love allspice so maybe that would be what I do differently, either way it’s chia time!
    Thank you

    Reply
  • Shawn

    Seth, that’s something key that you added to the mix… that chia keeps you hydrated longer. It’s because they’re hydrophilic (water-loving) and just have a great resonance with the human body. Thanks for the contribution!

    Reply
  • Carrie

    Ironically I just made a smoothie with chia seeds…I love the texture & added hemp seeds to the batch of bananas, blueberries, acai, & agave…so fulfilling! Thanks for the great usage tips keep ;)

    Reply
  • Shawn

    Will do, Carrie. Chia love is contagious!

    Reply
  • Carole

    Don’t think I can add much to what has already been written about Chia Seeds. I found them
    20 years ago when I was living in New Mexico and took them with me when I would be gone
    for the day or on a trip. When I went back to college, I took them with me to me from having to
    rely on the cafeterial food. Kept my hunger down and provided the energy needed. I like to put
    them in everything including salads, and especially in Shawn ‘s Super Smoothies. Gives great
    texture. Also put them in my home made Kefir (with raw milk). They are of the great finds and staples in my pantry. Seth – if you like nutmeg its great too!

    Reply
  • Kelly M

    Thanks Shawn! I’ve been eyeing the Chia at the store lately… wasn’t sure how to use it. I’ll try adding this gel-goo to my smoothies when school gets started this month!

    Reply
  • Shawn

    Thanks, Kelly! I’m officially going to call it “gel-goo” now. Let me know how it works for you ;-)

    Reply
  • Hi Shawn: thank you for calling attention to the benefits of Chia. It’s incredible; I started adding it to my morning cereal 3 months ago. My hair is thicker, my nails are longer. I am starting to see the energy benefits and am working my way up to 3 to 4 tbl per day. For those who do not like the gel-goo factor, you can purchase it cold-milled (to maintain nutritional integrity) from runningfood.com.

    Reply
  • Julie Feilen

    I eat chia seeds every morning in my “porridge”. It’s a bowl of warm water with a heaping tbsp. of melted coconut oil, a handful of goji, shredded coconut, slivered almonds and a nice big scoop of raw cacao powder with a little stevia. Sometimes I add a vegan protein powder in it. The best breakfast ever!

    Reply
  • Leroy Davis

    I saw you video on spring water , where is it at, if you can say .I got that reverse osmosis water system for drinking water and water softener the rest of house,that was a serious curve you threw,oh man .I will be going today to whole foods and pick up so of those chia seeds.Keep on doing what you doing man the people need to here this .I am going to tell everyone I know theshawnstevensonmodel.com
    peace

    Reply
  • Shawn

    Leroy, thanks so much for the gratitude. It’s much appreciated… I so glad that you were able to get the info on the spring water, and even more so that you’re doing things to upgrade the water that you are using personally. As for the spring itself, what area do you live in? We’ve got people from all over the world on the site, so let me know where you are, and I’ll see if I can help point you in the right direction.

    I have to apologies for taking a moment to reply to your post. We’ve done a ton of upgrades to the site to make getting this info into people’s hands even easier, and even added a new store to help people get access to the things that they often have no idea about. Things are running on full throttle now, so I look forward to connecting with you more in the near future. All the best!

    Reply
  • Jennifer

    It’s incredible how sometimes great things come in small packages! =)
    This is one of my favorite foods..here is one of my favorite recipes.
    Cinnamon Chia Pudding
    About 3-5 TBLSPN Chia seeds (give or take some to much one while making)!
    1/2 tspn real vanilla or scrape beans to desired taste
    1-2 cups of Almond Milk or spring water if you like.
    1-3 TBLSPN of Hemp seeds
    A few shakes of cinnamon (or few scrapes of fresh cinnamon)
    Mix the Chia seeds, hemp seeds, real vanilla, milk or water and cinnamon in medium size bowl. Cover and let sit at least 4 hours or overnight in fridge.
    Eat! =)
    Wonderful article. You provide valuable information that helps us understand the benefits to eating this famous food. Who would have thought the seeds we once grew from a cereal box prize or clay animal in our childhood would be so differently viewed in adult hood. I guess “old dogs” can learn new tricks!!
    Thank you for continuing to give us a different lens to look at for our health and offering fresh ideas!

    Reply
  • Wonderful website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that
    covr the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of
    group where I can get advice from other experienced people that
    share the sazme interest. If you have any suggestions,
    please let me know. Thanks a lot!

    Reply



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