Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In My Kitchen: Chia Seeds

Recently I sat in on a presentation by a Hy-Vee dietician about healthy foods and was informed about the health benefits of including chia seeds into your healthy diet.

Remember these???
Ch-ch-ch-chia pets! And guess what? It's the same seeds!!! :)
These things hold lots of health benefits but I will keep it breif and only tell you about a few:
1. Reduce food cravings and keep you fuller for longer. They can absorb ten times their weight in water keeping you full for a long time.
2. Packed full of Omega-3's which is a vital fat that protects against inflamation such as arthritis (unfortunately my knee is full of this) and can help prevent heart disease. These little guys have more Omega 3's than salmon!
3. Help control your blood sugar. Studies have shown that chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars.
4. Reduce blood pressure in those who suffer from high blood pressure.
I've been eating them for a good 2 weeks now for breakfast every morning, and it's going well!
I eat them in my breakfast sandwhiches (1 egg and 2 whites scrambled and microwaved and I put the chia seeds in the mixture before microwaving, then I toast a sanwhich thin and put one slice of fat free american cheese on top. It's good, promise!)
Sometimes I don't feel like eggs for breakfast, or I just have a strong craving for peanut butter (lately I'm all about Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter **Read your ingredient labels!! It's so importatnt to know what you're putting in your body!**) I toast a slice of bread, smother it with peanut butter then I put a little honey on the top and cover it with chia seeds.

They essentially have no taste, so I don't mind eating them at all. These things definitely keep me fuller, longer, and I've lost exactly 2 pounds per week the last two weeks, so that is awesome! I will say how sore I've been probably had more to do with the 2 pounds per week weight loss than the chia seeds, but hey, whatever I'm doing is working so I'll keep on keepin' on!
Also, I don't know if its that I've been such a rockstar at doing my physical therapy or if they really do help with arthritis, but I have noticed that my knee swelling has gone down and I have little to no pain in my knee as of late (surgery also helped in this area, obviously.)
So, all in all, I feel like chia seeds have been a great addition to my diet!
Someday when I feel like getting my kitchen dirty (I cleaned last week, and let's just say I like keeping it clean as loooooong a physically possible) I might try to cook or bake with them. I could imagine you could add these into cookies (but who am I kidding, I'm not about to make healthy cookies...if I'm going to make cookies, I'm going to make cookies!) or if you are into making bread, it might be a great addition to bread too!
The only concern I have about baking with them is that when they are combined with liquid they swell up and form a gel around them. So, you'd have to play around with the mostuire content of whatever you're making to make sure that they didn't make it too dry.
If you're interested in trying these out, you can find these in the health section of your local Hy-Vee. I think this bag was around give or take $10 and there is around 60 servings in there.
What have you added to your diet recently that you've enjoyed?

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