My top superfood choice (for full article check March's issue of Lehigh Valley Style)
Who could have ever imagined the catchy “chia pet” commercial of the 80’s, with the slurry of seeds on a clay animal that sprouted into green hair, would be hailed a penultimate superfood 30 years later. Chia seeds were actually a primary fuel for the Aztecs and Mayans. Legends say that a tablespoon of Chia seeds could sustain an Aztec Warrior all day.
In Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run, he chronicled the incredibly fit Tarahumara barefoot runners in Mexico who thought nothing of running 50-100 mile treks. The Tarahumara runners relied on chia fresca, a drink of chia, water, lime and sweetener as their energy source. Chia seeds are truly a powerhouse in a tiny package.
These tiny seeds that look like poppy seeds are the richest source of plant based omega 3 fatty acids. They contain even more omega 3’s than the popular flax seeds. In addition, Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, proteins and minerals. Percentage wise, Chia seeds have more calcium than milk and more antioxidants than blueberries.
One of the unique aspects of Chia seeds is their high soluble and insoluble fiber content. Because of the fiber, known as mucilages, they are able to swell to 5-10 times their weight in liquid. Soaking Chia seeds for about 30 minutes creates a unique gelatinous pudding. These soluble fibers may help slow down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugars in your stomach, thereby keeping blood sugars more stable. For those watching their weight, Chia seeds may provide a fullness and satiety while still obtaining essential nutrients.
At $8-$10 per pound a little goes a long way, and well worth the expense. This one truly is a super food.
10 Oz Filtered Water
1Tblsp Chia Seeds
2 tsp lime or lemon juice
2 tsp honey (to taste)
Whisk Chia seeds in water, let stand 10-15 minutes, add lime and honey, whisk and drink