Giving a Chia Pet has been a long-standing holiday tradition, I can remember finding a chia pet under the tree when I was young girl. My siblings and I would watch with wonderment as the the seeds sprouted into green “fur” on the terracotta animal over the days that followed Christmas. The Chia Pet is not only a fun and entertaining gift, it also has educational value. Even kids who live in high rise buildings without so much as a patch of grass can experience nature with a Chia Pet, learning first-hand how seeds can be sprouted.
It is unfortunate that Joseph Enterprises, the makers of the Chia Pet did not seek FDA approval for human consumption of the chia seeds or sprouts – as chia is one of the most nutritious superfoods available. So while the Chia Pet is fun present for the kids this holiday season, I recommend also eating chia seed this season.
Six Reasons to Take Chia Seeds this Holiday:
whole dry chia seed.
Hydrated chia seed (whole).
of water/liquid, or they will soak up the water inside your body and could actually dehydrate you. But when taken with plenty of water, chia seeds are very hydrating. Chia seeds are an excellent hydration tools for athletes, but they also can be helpful if you are planning to do a couple “4 oz. curls.” I always take a couple Tablespoons of chia seed with a full glass of water before heading off to a party. If I have one or two cocktails, the chia seed will not only slow the absorption of sugar alcohols into the bloodstream, but it will help to prevent the dehydrating effects of the alcohol, which is one of the main causes of hangovers. Read Prehydrate with Chia for more info.
So how do you take chia seeds? Chia seeds are tiny seeds – they can be added to water, smoothies, included in baked goods, and sprinkled on things like yogurt. You can buy them as whole seeds, or ground. When buying the ground seeds make sure to look for cold water processed – it preserves more of the nutrients. Do not buy the kind that has some of the oils or fats removed – chia oil is a healthy omega 3 fatty acid!! You can add the ground chia seed to baked goods, pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, and the like. You can add the ground or whole seed to smoothies, just a plain glass of water, or stir it into some yogurt. You can even find it at your local Whole Foods or other health food store – in bottled beverages like Mamma Chia, and GT’s Kombucha Cherry with Chia. Try this energizing smoothie made with chia seed.
Chia seeds are one of my favorite foods offering protein, minerals, fiber, and omega 3s. Chia seeds provide a mood boost, enhance brain functioning, improve digestion, and can benefit all levels of athletic performance, especially hydration, endurance, and recovery. So enjoy the Chia Pet for it’s educational and entertainment value, and go buy some chia seeds for consumption – both can make your holiday season ch..ch..ch..cheery!
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, whose book The Perfect Metabolism Plan (Red Wheel/Conari Press) will be hitting book shelves Spring of 2015. You can download her Cooking with Superfoods eBooklet now for free. A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, Sara used to be a sugar junkie too. She offers consultations, corporate nutrition, monthly cooking classes, and affordable online programs.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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