Chances are, if you are into healthy eating you’ve heard of chia seeds. This tiny whole grain, packed with nutrients, has been dubbed the super food of 2013. And while chia seeds may be new to most Americans, the ancient Aztecs and Mayans considered them a staple in their diets. How can adding chia to your modern day diet help improve health? Let’s start with what we love about chia seeds.
One of Wildwood Dental’s favorite things about the new chia seed craze is they are an excellent source of calcium-supporting strong bones and teeth! In fact, one tablespoon of chia seeds contains 10% of the daily recommended value of calcium.
Chia seeds are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals and can protect your body against everything from cancer to the common cold.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of plant based omega 3 fatty acids. The omega 3s are essential to lower cholesterol and brain health. Chia seeds have nearly five grams of omega 3 fatty acids in a one-ounce serving.
A 28-gram serving of chia seeds has 4.4 grams of protein. That’s almost 10% of your daily need. Many athletes see the value in this super source of protein for muscle recovery and vegetarians love it as an excellent non-meat protein source.
Eating Chia Seeds
One of the best things about chia seeds is that it is super easy to add them to your diet. You can sprinkle them on yogurt, salads and even toast. As dental experts, one of the few complaints about chia seeds is that the tiny grains get stuck in teeth. So we have some suggestions for eating chia in a form that is healthy for your body and easy on your teeth and gums. One of the best ways to avoid chia getting stuck in your teeth is to buy it in ground form. Most health food stores carry chia seeds in bulk. Whole Foods sells chia in bulk in its whole form and milled. The milled form can be added to just about anything, from your favorite smoothie recipe to sauces and soups. Whole chia seeds will take on a gelatin like consistency when added to water. This makes a great egg substitute for vegan recipes and chia is less likely to get stuck in your teeth in this form. Many mainstream food companies are now adding chia seeds to their products.
Improve your Health
Chia seeds have maximum nutrient value for a small caloric price! They are touted for positive health effects which include supporting digestion, boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar and lowering cholesterol. Here’s our advice: Pick up chia seeds at your favorite Mill Creek health food store and try this super food. But keep the dental floss handy!