Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chia: What is it good for?

Chia Seeds epitomize the expression that good things come in small packages…. Used for centuries as a staple food of the Tarahumara tribe (See Born to Run by Christopher McDougall), the author relates a number of stories explaining how a handful of these tiny seeds allow members of this tribe to run, seemingly effortlessly, for up to 50 or 100 miles per day!

Remember the Chia Pet? Yep, it’s the same thing. Mix a spoonful of chia seeds with water and you will notice that it forms a gel-like substance… It does this because chia absorbs 12 times its weight in water! When you eat it, the gel that forms in your stomach creates a barrier between carbohydrates and the enzymes that break them down and subsequently slows the conversion of carbs to sugar. In other words, these little guys sustain you for longer.

They also keep you better hydrated, act as a significant source of protein, and because you can add them to pretty much anything, from smoothies, to power bars, or just sprinkled on your cereal, they are extremely easy to incorporate into your diet.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

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