On a quest to the pinnacle of health and a relief to boredom, I combed the internet for a ton of articles via Pinterest informing me about chia seeds.
To answer one of your many impending questions, the chia seed stems from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is a close cousin of mint. It’s said that ancient Aztecs and Mayans prized the chia seed for their ability to provide strength and energy. I feel as though through my week-long journey with these little tiny seeds, I have had more energy over the course of the few days, and I feel more awake.
Also through my research through the internet for information on this so-called “super food,” I read a lot about how they size up to flax seeds. Some say flax is better, others mainly levied with chia, but for the good of myself I went with chia seeds because I’ve heard about them far too much not to try them, mainly from my trendy vegan friends. Chia seeds are also tasteless, which means you can put them in any food. In contrast, flax seeds must be ground up (already too much prep work for me) and taste vaguely like peanut butter, a taste that probably wouldn’t work well in a large percentage of my food or at all considering I don’t like peanut butter.
Unlike flax, chia seeds do not need to be ground. They also absorb 10 times their weight in liquid, which makes them amazing if you’re someone who retains a lot of water. If you decide to put them in your food, remember to drink a lot of water throughout the day so you don’t get dehydrated. I actually started with one tablespoon of chia with lemon in water and I found it fun to drink (or eat). When you soak chia in liquid, it develops a jellylike texture around the seed which holds the water, with a similar texture to the flesh of coconut that they put in certain coconut water brands. It also has a bit of a crunch, which I found cute and reminiscent of lychee gels. I had to keep refilling my water bottle because the chia to water ratio was way off, but it was also a good way to encourage me to drink more and often.
I bought a 2lb. bag at one of those wholesale warehouse shopping centers for about $10 and I thought it was kind of a gyp, but then I realized how small these seeds are. They’re literally a little bit bigger than a hair follicle when you pull it out by the root, and honestly they look a little bit like bugs.
With a fresh, fairly sizable bag of chia and not a single clue, I decided (for at least a day) to put the seeds in every single one of my foods. I don’t think this is healthy or recommended, but I was really gung-ho about introducing them into my diet and the information I read said that chia seeds are a good way to curb hunger by staying fuller longer, due to their liquid-retention capabilities. I personally think I could benefit by eating less, so I thought it would be an interesting way to cut down my portions. That day I had the water with lemon, a single serve packet oatmeal with a 3/4 cup of granola, a light and fit yogurt with fruit and 1 cup of the same granola, and a spinach salad with chicken, tomato, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. (Something about vinaigrettes makes me feel excessively healthy, wouldn’t you agree?)
I put around a half a table spoon to one full tablespoon of chia seeds in all of these foods and I found myself feeling weighed down by the end of breakfast. Typically, I’m ravenous a good 20 minutes after I finish eating my first meal of the day so I was honestly surprised. However, my brain still wanted me to eat, so I tried to drink tea and have more water to pacify the neuron signals. I felt bloated with liquid because of this need to placate my pathology, which at first I thought was contradictory because of the chia. Slowly it did pass and I think it considerably cut down the amount I snacked throughout the day. Every day after, I have added chia to at least one or two meals or drinks I ingest during the day, (usually my first drink of the day, lemon water) and I can definitely sense a difference in my eating habits.
The main take aways from chia is that they are high in fiber, protein, and Omega-3 fatty acids; three items of which I recognize everyone could use a lot more of.
Also, for someone who is worried about hereditary disease, chia helps with glucose and insulin tolerance and major cardiovascular risk problems. They also are packed with high levels of antioxidants and help reduce inflammation.
Ultimately, I’m having a good experience with chia, because it has curbed my hunger, but I find myself a little lost. What do I do with all this free time that I am not snacking? I honestly feel like I lost an integral part of myself, the part of myself that enjoyed eating for sport and eating often. My brain still tells my body, “You’re watching some Netflix? Go get a bite to eat!” but my stomach insists she’s doing okay. It’s all very confusing. Maybe in due time this will subside, like kicking a habit. In the mean time, I have taken up more book reading as well as exploring.
In the mean time, tell me what you think about Chia Seeds! Have you tried them? How do you like to use them?