Chia - A Mineral Rich Superfood
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Minerals are, in many ways, the unheralded and forgotten heroes that keep our bodies functioning well. While the nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fat may be more well known, minerals are equally important for helping us get and stay healthy.
Two time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling stated: “You could trace every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” Of course, this statement may be a slight exaggeration because it fails to account for genetic disorders. But it is fair to state that minerals play a critical role in maintaining our health. They help in combating disease, helping your body heal, managing ongoing chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, minimizing the impact of such common maladies as headaches and PMS, helping children grow up strong, enhancing mental performance at all ages, and preventing fatigue. They truly are one of your secret weapons for getting and staying your healthiest.
In our book, Minerals-The Forgotten Nutrient, we use credible scientific research to highlight the importance of many minerals. Each week we will identify at least one food which is rich in minerals so you can consider whether to include it in your diet.
This week we highlight Chia.
What is Chia?
It is pronounced chee-ah and is a seed the size of a poppy seed. It comes in two basic colors - black and dark gray. Occasionally you can find white chia. It is truly a superfood which is gluten free, non-GMO and anti-allergenic.
Chia is loaded with many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals protein, amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids but we are going to focus on the minerals found in this superfood.
Here are some minerals found in Chia
All the above minerals play a crucial role in helping to keep us healthy. For example, we all know calcium helps to build strong bones. We need iron to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, zinc for our immune system and copper to help the body utilize iron and help the thyroid function properly. We detail many of these minerals in our book - Minerals, The Forgotten Nutrient.
How to prepare chia?
I usually soak the seeds in water, oat milk or almond milk (1/8 - 1/4 cup seeds to 1 cup liquid). After about 30 minutes they have a gel like or chewy texture. It may look like tapioca pudding. I refrigerate the soaked chia seeds for about a week and add a teasspoon to salads, cereal, smoothies, shakes, fruit juice and even water.
For more about chia, read here and here
Finally, chia is also rich in fiber so consume it in moderation as too much may cause dehydration and constipation.
Enjoy your healthy life!
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