Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Cha Cha Cha Check It Out!

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There is so much more to this power kitty than meets the eye....

Many readers might remember the cute little cheesy commercials for Chia Pets. I am sure I wouldn't have to dig too far to find out who invented it. It might be a little harder find to figure out WHY they invented it. That is neither here nor there. Chia has so much more to offer us than visual enjoyment or a little chuckle, because lets face it....they look a little rasta! :) Let's take a closer look at our old friend in a new way. 


Why would chia seed be considered a super food? Well, because of all the amazing components stuffed into one tiny seed! Check it out one ounce of seed contains: 

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
  • They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
Many people tout that it is a weight loss food because of its low calories. I have never been one to say that all "calories are created equal", because frankly they aren't. No one could convince me that 100 calories of Pringles chips could give me the same nutrition as an ounce of chia seed ( which, to be fair an ounce of chia seed is technically 101 calories). Several studies have been done and they don't support the weight loss story, but other things were happening in the body.

  • When type 2 diabetics had 37 grams of chia over a 12 week period (when compared to wheat bran) blood pressure came down
  • Bones need calcium, magnesium and phosphorus to assimilate the calcium. Chia's got it.
  • The omega 3's are good for your brain (ALA) - and are more than half the total fat of this amazing little grain. Wheat doesn't have that. Flax and chia are the only grains to have omega 3's, other top sources are fish or seal (arf arf) (the DHA kind of omega 3's that fish have are best for you, but may not always be available for use in food storage).
  • They are high in antioxidants which prevent cell damage. Supplements can't touch this because they aren't a whole food. Chia is.

Chia seeds can be stored for up to five years (vacuum sealed). That is pretty amazing considering the (healthy) fat content. It is no wonder that the Aztecs and Mayans revered this little beauty. I throw chia into all kinds of stuff. Because they have a neutral taste, they can be hidden into just about anything. My kids love them in Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls (recipe here: 

Chia seeds can be kind of expensive, but they would be a great addition to grains you've stored. I have seen them at Wal-Mart and they can also be purchased here:

So, from now on, when you think of Chia pets, remember to grab some chia seeds. They are much more valuable than a white elephant gift. 

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