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So, what’s the deal about Chia Seeds?

By Karina | August 3, 2011

I’ve been reading a lot about Chia Seeds this week – which are, you know, exactly the same thing you think they are – those seeds which charmingly sprout to give little clay figurines hair or fur.

So you can also eat chia seeds! I first read about them in the book Born to Run. Chia is traditionally from Mexico, and in Born to Run they are the preferred athletic fuel of the Tarahumara endurance runners. They are full of Omega 3 fatty acids and a perfect protein, and depending on who you talk to they will give you more energy or just fill you up so you don’t eat everything in sight. So that got me thinking – are chia seeds a super food, or a diet fad? See, I’m really skeptical of the whole “you’ll be so full with the x/y/z that you won’t eat too much during the day” concept – I find that when trying to lose weight I rarely have hunger pangs, but have to overcome bad habits.

I did order a bag of chia seeds from Rancho Gordo, though, the last time I bought beans. What can I say? I’m super curious!

So I mixed up the chia into a Chia Fresca (scroll down for recipe) and gave it a shot in the evening when I was watching Eight at football practice from 6-8 and also going for a run at the neighboring track. Now, I’m pretty out of shape and it was hot and humid, so I can’t say that the chia gave me any extra energy – but it did tide me over until about 8:30 or 9 for dinner, which was really nice.

I’m still wondering, though – are chia seeds worth the hype? I mean, environmentally, this is something that must be shipped from Mexico. Depending on where you live they may or may not be a good food choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re an athlete with high caloric needs during training, chia is a good supplement – and you can make your own energy bars and fuel gels with chia, and avoid the packaging, additives, and waste that most single-serve sports food comes with. This makes chia a more thoughtful choice because using it avoids waste and chemicals.

So, dear readers? Any experience with chia? superfood or superfad?

[[Chia Pet pic from flickr user DailyCraft via creative commons license.]]

Topics: Food | 2 Comments »

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Comment by Jenn
2011-08-03 16:35:47

I am LOVING chia seeds!! Ok, so I’m not entirely sure what they’re doing for me– I’ve read all the nutritional hype, and I don’t disbelive it, but I can’t say that I really ever feel less hungry when I eat/drink them. That being said, I”m all for little things which contain lots of good bits, and I”m trying to eat better these days. I usually just stir a tablespoon of seeds into a glass of water (and keep stirring so they don’t clump up), then drink the whole mess. I’ll also toss them into a smoothie too, along with flax and almonds. I’m a fan. :)

Comment by Robin
2011-08-03 18:39:15

I’ve had Chia Cereal (I believe it is called Chia Goodness) and liked the flavor. I was surprised how small a portion filled me up. I used to get chia from Seeds of Change and I believe it was grown in the southwestern United States but it doesn’t appear they have the same products they used to. For me, besides all the claims, it boils down to nice source of dietary fiber.


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