Fitness for Dads: Chia Seeds in Your Diet?

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Fitness for Dads article section on SingleDad reviews the latest supplements and weight loss programs for the Dad who wants to stay at optimum health. This month learn about Chia Seeds and their health benefits.

Fitness for Dads: Chia Seeds in Your Diet?

Fitness for Dads article section on SingleDad reviews the latest supplements and weight loss programs for the Dad who wants to stay at optimum health. This month learn about Chia Seeds and their health benefits. Read More.

Cha-Cha Chia Pet…

Remember the Chia Pet? These gift items, clay figurines that sprouted grass-like "fur," were once all the rage. Fast-forward a few decades, and the seeds from the same chia plant are being sold in health food stores for their nutritional value and a weight loss supplement. Our SingleDad Staff investigated and her’s what we found out…

chia

What Is Chia?

Wikapedia says: Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and folklore has it that these cultures used the tiny black and white seeds as an energy booster. That makes sense, as chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.

Chia is mostly cultivated in Mexico and Bolivia. The seeds are smaller than sesame seeds and range in color from grayish brown to white; the color of the seeds has no real bearing on the nutritional value, although white chia seeds make more visual sense in certain dishes. According to most sources, chia seeds, unlike flax seeds, don’t have to be ground in order to release their full nutritional benefits. (They don’t seem to turn rancid as quickly as flax seeds, either.) They are very neutral in flavor-I find them almost flavorless-so they can be easily added to just about anything. For those people out there who must avoid wheat, rest assured that chia seeds are gluten-free.

The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel.

chia milk

Our Fitness for Dads Chia Recipe:

6 oz. Silk Almond Milk

1- Tablespoon of Chia

Take a Tablespoon of the Chia Seeds and drop into a cup or "Shake Container" of Silk Almond Milk. Shake or mix the two ingredients very well. Allow the chi seeds to absorb the Almond Milk and it begins to taste a lot like Tapioca pudding. Combine the calcium and plant based nutrition in Silk Almond Milk, plus the Omega-3 benefits of Chia Seeds; you have the perfect combination.

Brief History on Chia Seeds

The seeds were a dietary staple of the Mayans and Aztecs, surpassed in importance only by corn and beans. A very rich source of ALA (plant-based) omega-3 fatty acids (the type found in pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, canola oil, and some vegetables), they provide health benefits on par with fish and fish oil, yet are appropriate for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Chia seeds also contain fiber, protein, antioxidants, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

Other Qualities

Of particular interest to marathoners and other elite athletes are chia’s hydrating and endurance properties. The hydrophilic seeds can absorb up to ten times their weight in water, and that gelling factor physically slows down the process by which our bodies convert soaked chia seeds’ carbs into simple sugars. And you don’t have to be training to run 26-plus miles to benefit; in a piece published last spring in Bloomberg News, my pal David Sax reports that chia seeds have become a popular stimulant on Wall Street in more ways than one. Red Bull is so over.

And although there are chia seed nutritional supplements, juice drinks, energy bars, and other packaged foods, I vote for simply working them into your home-cooking repertoire. The seeds themselves are available at many supermarkets as well as health food stores and many online sources.

Can Chia Really Help Dads Lose Weight?

In theory, Chia seeds are supposed to expand in your belly, helping you to feel full, eat less, and ultimately shed pounds. In our own personal survey, there was no notable weight loss over a 4-week period. The Chia Seeds added good nutrition to our diet and the Shake with Silk Almond Milk tasted great, however, there was no significant weight loss was found.

Editors Note: RJ Jaramillo is a paid Dad Health Blogger by Silk Almond Milk. All opinions are my own.

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”