It actually is the same thing as the seeds that are in the Chia pets that we give as gifts around Christmas. Chia is making a hard core comeback in the health, nutrition and fitness field and not stopping any time soon. So, what are Chia seeds? It is about the size of a poppy seed and can range in colors from dark black, white and something in between. Chia seeds (salvia hispanica L. for the Latin lovers!) roots go back to the days of the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans. In Aztec culture, before a game the contenders would fill up on Chia seeds and water to build their endurance and strength.

The contents of the small-yet mighty Chia seed is great in abundance. The seeds have a high content in what we call alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is a main contender for omega 3. The content is much higher than flaxseed and even a serving of wild salmon! The mighty Chia seed is also high in protein, antioxidants, and calcium. All this nutrition in these tiny seeds! New vegans, vegetarians, people suffering from GI issues (Crohn’s and IBS to name a few) and diabetics meet your new friend!

water chia seeds

 

Chia has an extremely high fiber content! Just as Metamucil can become jelly in water, Chia becomes gelatinous when soaked in water. Take about three tablespoons with some water and watch the gel occur. I recommend adding some water and a little orange juice and coconut juice make a refreshing drink. To make this a festive gel, add ½ cup of Chia seeds to a cup mixture of freshly squeezed orange juice and water.

Here are some recipes to get you started on the Chia track!

Chia-Oat Porridge

  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon Chia seeds

Optional: 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil

  1. Place the water in a small pot. Place the burner on medium high heat
  2. When the water comes to a light boil, add the oats, salt and butter or coconut oil
  3. Stir once and reduce heat.
  4. After five minutes, remove from heat and stir in Chia seeds. Serve immediately!

I usually add honey and cinnamon to my porridge for an amazing taste!

Chia Fruit Salad

Having some girlfriends over? Try this !

  • 3 Peaches, pitted and diced
  • 2 Apples cored and diced
  • 2 cups seedless grapes
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
  • 2 Bananas sliced
  • The juice of ½ large lemon
  • ½ cup of Chia gel (with the orange juice/water mixture of course)
  1. Combine peaches, apples, grapes, pineapple, bananas and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Add Chia gel and lightly mix

If you have leftover Chia fruit salad, add it to your Nutri bullet, Ninja or Vitamix for a great boost of energy. The actual flavor of Chia has been described as bland, so it can be a great nutritious addition to many foods. Add Chia seeds as a topping to naughty cereal for a healthy boost. Enjoy Chia and your health!

Author
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Dr Doris Fregoso is a Chiropractic Physician who specializes in nutritional health and wellness. She is a 2010 graduate of National University of Health Sciences and has also done studies in the fields of Acupuncture, Naturopathic Medicine, Rehabilitation Health and Botanicals. She currently practices in Chicago, IL.
2 replies to this post
  1. Chia seeds are so versatile! You can grind them if you wish but they can be eaten whole unlike Flax seeds that should in most cases be grinded. I should also note that flax seeds become rancid rapidly as chia seeds don’t have the same effect. Enjoy your oatmeal! I know I will!

  2. Dr. Doris Fregoso,

    Thank you for the info on chia seeds. I have been using them sparingly for a while now but haven’t gotten creative with them. I combine 1/2 teaspoon of chia seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of flax seeds and grind them with a mortar and pestal. ( I remember from my science classes that many people have a difficult time digesting these little seeds so it is better to grind them.) Then, I add the ground seeds to my oatmeal.

    I will look forward to more from you on practical nutrition.

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