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Chia - The Superfood You've Never Heard Of

posted Dec 25, 2011, 6:00 PM by Chantel Wilson Chase   [ updated Dec 25, 2011, 6:32 PM ]

The Power of Chia

When you hear Chia, you may think about those clay figures that grow grass (and are advertised on TV). But Chia, seeds are a powerful superfood that can not only give you much needed nutrients, but they can also improve your athletic performance.

So what's so great about Chia seeds?

  • They contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds and salmon
  • The seeds contain significant amounts of protein, dietary fiber and antioxidants
  • Due to the exceptional water-absorption quality of chia, it can help you prolong hydration and retain electrolytes, especially during exertion
  • Chia seed protein contains no gluten. This makes it ideal for anyone with a gluten sensitivity or simply wanting to find a replacement for gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye and oats.

How do you use Chia?

The most common way to eat chia is to first soak the seeds. They can very rapidly absorb a large amount of liquid - between 9-12 times their volume, in under 10 minutes.

Make the basic gel

To make a basic chia gel, simply add 1/3 cup of seeds (2oz) to 2 cups of water. Stir the mixture well, to avoid clumping, then leave it in your fridge, in a sealed jar.
The gel will begin to form in about 10 minutes and you can eat it right away. It will stay good for a few weeks if you leave it in the refrigerator.
Mix with everything
Once you make the basic gel, you can just reach into the fridge and take out some of the ready-made gel whenever you need it.
You might add it to smoothies, mix it with salad dressings, puddings or granola, or simply take it by the spoonful. They are great for taking with a banana or your smoothie before a run as they deliver long-lasting energy!