Chia - what are these magical seeds all about?

Have any of you been wondering what all the hype is about chia seeds lately? Like why should we care about eating them? What do they really do for you? How do you go about choosing the right one? Do I really need them? 🤔

Well if you’ve been asking any of those questions, today is your lucky day because I am hear to tell you all about these magical little seeds!!

What you will know after reading this post….

  1. What is a chia seed?

  2. What’s so good about them?

  3. Are they all the same? Does it matter which ones I buy?

  4. How do I get them into my diet? Or my family’s diet? 😳

So first off, what is a chia seed?

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica. Chia seeds are prized for their ability to provide sustainable energy and have been a food staple in both the Mayan and Aztec cultures, along with native tribes of North America. In fact, chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength. 

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds) which makes them extremely versatile on how they can be consumed. They have a mild nutty flavor and can be added to just about anything…more to come on that.

 What’s so good about them?

Chia seeds are packed with TONS of nutrients….

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Healthy Carbs

  • Protein

  • Super high Fiber - especially insoluble fiber!!

  • Antioxidants

  • Calcium

  • Vitamins

The fiber in them is a HUGE benefit. The recommended daily amount of fiber intake for women is 25g per day….the average woman only gets about 10-12g at best!

Fiber helps with so many things but some big ones are bowel regularity, lowering blood sugar levels (no crazy spikes) and feeling fuller longer.

 Are they all the same?

The short answer is no. Here’s why.

Many agricultural studies show that seeds that are grown 23 degrees north or south of the equator are very high in nutritional content….however seeds grown outside of that are are not. So ALOT depends on where your chia seeds are grown.

Studies have also shown that different elevations and different perciptation levels will produce different nutritional content in these tiny seeds. Think about it like grapes and wine. Grapes grown in a certain part of the counry produce one flavor of wine while another part of the country tastes completly different. Same concept here.

So bottom line of that is that it’s best to find a chia seed product that utilizes a variety of types of chia seeds, not just one….and don’t worry, I’m going to tell you where to find one like that shortly.

Another difference that many people don’t realize, is that there is a significant amount of the nutritional content in chia seeds that can only be utilized by the human body if the seeds are opened up. If the seeds aren’t opened up they will not get into your blood stream and will just pass straight through the body. So, if you’ve bought those tiny little black round seeds at the store thinking you were getting awesome chia for your smoothies, think again.

When you take a whole chia seed that isn’t opened up you will reap the fiber benefits of the seed but not the omega 3 benefits which is CRUCIAL!

Now you might be asking why you should care about Omega-3’s….well let me tell you. These ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (which if you aren’t sure the meaning of the word ESSENTIAL…it means gotta have it!!) And many of us are lacking this in our diets…not good since our bodies don’t produce them. There are numerous medical studies that show that omega 3’s have been shown to prevent or reverse almost every disease we face as humans.

Some of the things omega 3’s have been shown to benefit or impact:

  • lowering triglycerides

  • reducing joint pain/stiffness….think arthritis.

  • lowers levels of depression

  • aids in visual and nerological development of infants and children (DHA)

  • reduces inflammation in the body so helps with things like asthma

  • Studies have shown that omega 3’s significantly impact children with ADHD and help improve their mental skills like thinking, learning, and remembering.

So yeah….Omega 3’s…pretty big deal. And if you were thinking you would just head on down to your local health food store and get some fish oil pills….let me stop you there. 2 tablespoons of the OPEN chia seeds I have found will give you 3000mg of omega-3 fatty acids…..that’s about the equivalent to 12 fish oil pills 😱 still want to take those? And how much mercury is floating around out there in the waters where those fish and their pills came from? 🤔

How do I get them into my family’s diet?

This is the easiest part. This blend of chia seeds are basically tasteless and you can put them in anything!! You can sprinkle them in oatmeal or yogurt or cereal. You can put them in sauces like spagetti sauce. You can bake them into things (in fact you can replace 1/4 c oil or 1 egg in a recipe with 3 tablespoons of these seeds! I mix the seeds in peanut butter and spread on pancakes or PB&J sandwiches for my kiddos.

Throw them into a smoothie or protein drink. Honestly, there are too many ways to list out that you can sneak these into your everyday diet and the BENEFITS are absolutely phenomenal.

Which chia is my go to??

My go to chia blend is called Mila and is made by a company called Pure.

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You have probably heard me talk about their products if you read my detox post and that won’t be the last time because they are AMAZING!! This Mila is no different!!

Mila® is a super food that is gluten-free, trans-fat free, sugar-free, and is a superior plant-based source of protein and fiber. Mila uses different varieties of the chia seed to provide a wide array of nutrients. By combining these crops, you get a nutritionally robust product like we talked about.

They have a proprietary method of micro slicing the chia seeds so that they are opened properly to allow you to reap all the benefits but also maintain their moisture which is key!

This is seriously the best of the best when it comes to chia seeds!!

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A 16oz bag of it is only $34.95. My kids are eating this daily and don’t even know and I take it every day in my morning protein shake.

Remember - your body DOES NOT produce omega-3 ESSENTIAL fatty acids…and since they are ESSENTIAL, your body will not run as it was built to run unless it gets these. So unless your taking those 12 fish oil pills a day (which have no protein, fiber, vitamins, ect) or your eating a couple fish a day 😂 then it’s safe to say your not getting enough of these. Give them a shot and see what a difference they can make!

If your interested in trying out the Mila, just shoot me an email at penny@mamafitlife.com.