Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch Chia

Did you think I could name this post anything else? :)

Today's healthy eats are chia seeds.

They seem to be all the rave lately….

And I have totally joined the band wagon! After reading all about the benefits of Chia seeds, J & I picked some up at a local health food store about a month ago (these ones). We’ve been consuming them almost daily in either smoothies or overnight oatmeal.

Why chia seeds you ask? Well they are very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc to name a few. Yep, a boatload of goodness!

And another advantage that this old lady really loves, they help relieve joint pain! Wahoo! Freshman year of high school I had to have surgery on both of my knees. At first, we were told I couldn’t/shouldn’t continue playing sports. We gave that doctor a big ‘ol YEAH RIGHT! Just kidding...sort of. More like we proved him wrong. But part of the deal was custom orthotics shoe inserts and a daily glucosamine supplement. Guess how long those items lasted? Ya, not long.  When I left for college, so didn’t my daily routine. 

I am horrible at taking a daily supplement. Horrible. Probably haven’t taken even one pill of glucosamine in the past year and certainly wasn’t taking it even close to daily, or even weekly, over the past 8 years. Since leaving home, I just cannot seem to rely on myself for these things.  (Update- going a week strong on glucosamine and a daily vitamin. Hoping I stick with it this time!)

But, I have to say that over the past 4+ weeks of taking chia seeds 4-5 times a week, I have had close to zero knee pain. Or any joint pain for that matter. Last summer, any run of 5 miles or more left me feeling like the Tinman by the end. Somebody seriously needs to figure out a way to make WD-40 for humans! Oh wait, that’s what chia seeds are for! :)

In all seriousness, they really have seemed to make a difference for my 80 year-old knees.

So you don’t have joint issues? Here are some other GREAT benefits of these little guys:
  1. They help balance blood sugar
  2. They help lower blood pressure
  3. Ounce for ounce, these seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon
  4. 11 grams of fiber per ounce keeps you feeling full much longer
  5. 18% daily value of calcium per ounce (3x more than skim milk!) helps fight osteoporosis
  6.  Absorbing 12 times its weight in fluid, they prolong hydration
  7. May help with such health issues as IBS, celiac disease, and thyroid conditions

Have I convinced you yet? While visiting my mom this past weekend in Florida, I was telling her all about them and come to find out, one of her friends in FL has been using them in smoothies too! And another had read all about them recently. She picked some up this week so we'll see what she thinks of them in a few weeks.

Looking for a little help on ways to consume them, Shape Magazine published some fun ways to incorporate chia seeds into recipes here.

Let me know if you try them and what you think. :)

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