S tumbling into a paleo – yet low-carb- paleo – lifestyle about a year ago, not only opened immense benefits for my personal health and fitness, but required a lot of research and let me to become more experimental in my tiny purple kitchen in Munich than I ever imagined. and educated as well.
Being an avid reader of Shape or Women’s Health magazine, I constantly read about so called “superfoods”, but never grasped what could be so super about them.
According to the definition given by the famous Oxford Dictionary, a superfood is a food extremely rich in nutrients and is considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being – so I am now asking myself why I simply must have thought I did not need something like a superfood in my life. But at the same time I was always complaining about health and weight issues, so why did I not pay more attention to what could actually help me out from the inside out?
One of the most hyped superfoods are chia seeds – or also salvia hispanica – an ancient Aztec seed which made it’s big entrance into the “clean eating” community a couple of years ago. On the other hand, it has been used in Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala for nutritious drinks and as a food source for years, so at least some of us knew what’s up.
Even I did not know what to really do with them – luckily the Latins do and I learned to enjoy them in Panama in November, when I opted for a delicious chia strawberry pudding at Lalo’s Frutitas y Más after a workout with friends.
Fellow #fitfam, I am hooked – and here is why you should too:
Chia seeds and the power of fiber – what sounds like a sequel of Harry Potter, is one of the best things you could to to your body. With one ounce of chia providing already 10 grams of fiber, they can make up almost for a third of the daily recommendation of fiber.
Here are a couple of reasons, I make sure to keep my fiber intake high, despite keeping my carbs low.
✔️ Diets that are high in fiber help to keep you feeling full longer and are usually lower in calories.
DIGESTION AND DETOX
✔️ Fiber rich nutrition promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Regular bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool and will make you feel lighter, comfortable and relaxed.
STABILIZED BLOOD SUGAR
✔️ A high fiber intake is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes and to keep blood sugar stable, which makes you crash less and can keep hunger pangs or food craving at bay.
As soon as I learned about all these benefits, I make sure I have chia multiple times a week – often in alteration with my beloved flax meal – and it is easily incorporable in different ways and variations.
I love the very mild, but nutty flavour they add to any dish and have tried a couple of recipes, like my raspberry chia jam and will keep being creative.
You can eat them raw or cooked. Sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies. Add them to baked goods like bread and muffins.
If are experimenting with vegan baking (or you just run out of eggs), you can mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, let them sit for a few minutes, and watch them turn into a gel that you can use as a substitute for eggs in baking.
DISCLAIMER: once you cook with chia, you will notice that these babies soak up a lot of liquid – actually they can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water. Make sure to drink enough water if you consume them regularly or in bigger quantities.