It’s Mighty Mommy Monday! Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter and I have decided to challenge you on a weekly basis. Claim the Mighty Mommy title for yourself — every day, not just Mondays. Every week, we’ll host a link up for you to tell us what you’re doing to take care of your health: workouts, menu plans, how to keep your family active, etc. I’ve set a few goals for 2014, but my biggest is to swim a total of 30 freestyle miles this year. Join us!
Today’s post is a guest post from my friend, Nina. Nina is one of my “fitness friends” and one that I frequently text with questions late at night. She’s Mama to 3 awesome little boys and is a wonderful inspiration to me!
SO! It’s been about 4 and a half years since the Lord has laid on my heart that I need to be treating my body as the temple that it is. This made me look into what I was “nourishing” my body with food wise a long with many other things but today, I’m focusing on the food part. I used the quotes around the word nourishing because my diet prior to my eating habits now were anything but nourishing to my body. It has taken me (and my family) years to get where we are today with eating healthy and I learn something new all the time about the nutrition wholesome, real, foods supply our bodies! One food that has been sorely misrepresented is the Chia seed. You might have heard of them back in the day while watching the commercials of your favorite cartoon, sitcom, soap opera, etc. I can’t pick up my jar of chia seeds today without saying, to myself of course, “cha cha cha CHIA!” Thanks to their catchy little jingle and marketing strategies, I’m assuming millions of Americans never knew that the chia seeds they were caring for on their chia pets were actually edible. This seed, despite the novelty item they were known for being, packs quite the nutritional punch! Especially for their size. They’re tiny!
I’m sure you’ve heard all about the importance of adding omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, but do you know why you should be incorporating them? Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and are known to reduce inflammation and risks for cardiovascular disease.
A 1-ounce serving of chia contains approximately 4.9 grams of omega 3 fatty acids. That may not sound like a lot but it really is. Flaxseed is known for their omega’s but flaxseed only carries about 1.8 grams of omega 3 fatty acids. Compare that to the Chia seed and that’s a pretty big difference.
Something else I want to touch on is their fiber content. Soluble fiber is known for maintaining normal, healthy cholesterol levels and supporting healthy elimination. A 1-ounce serving of chia seeds contain 10.6 grams of fiber. Oatmeal contains roughly 2.8 grams of soluble fiber. I don’t know about you but I have always been told that oatmeal is good if you’re having trouble with constipation, but I think chia seeds seem to be the better way to go.
For women, calcium is great! Especially if you are trying to ward off osteoporosis. I know when I would I think about ways to get more calcium into my diet, my focus would go straight to dairy products. Ever since I have been doing more research on the food I’m eating, I have found that the plant world is full of foods that are rich in calcium. Broccoli is a great source of easily absorb-able calcium and it turns out, so are chia seeds. A 1-ounce serving of chia seeds supplies 177 mg of calcium. One 5-inch stalk of steamed broccoli contains 56 mg of calcium.
During my workouts, I always get my cardio in but getting in my strength training is equally as important. Protein is imperative when you incorporate strength training into your workouts, which is another reason why chia seeds are so great! A 1-ounce serving of chia seeds contain 4.4 grams of protein. Compare that to a 1-ounce serving of kidney beans which supply .01 grams of protein.
As you can see, ounce per ounce chia seeds are a concentrated source of nutrition.
It blows me away how easy it is to incorporate them into your diet! They can be put on absolutely everything. Usually something as nutritious as the chia seed needs to be prepared a certain way or only tastes good if you pair it with something else. That isn’t the case here. I sprinkle chia seeds on everything! Smoothies, cereal, toast, my kids’ pb&j, fruit, and when I make my homemade granola bars and energy balls. My oldest son pretty much expects to see them on his food now! A serving is 2 tablespoons but I typically only put it on a tablespoon at a time since I use it on a lot of the things I eat throughout the day. Although I have never tried it, I have read that chia seeds make a good substitution for eggs in recipes and that chia seed flour can be used in gluten free cooking as a 1 to 1 ratio to wheat flour. I thought that was interesting!
Trying new things or understanding why something is healthy for you (or unhealthy for you) can be very challenging and it tends to get discouraging at times…err, A LOT of times! Like I mentioned above, it has taken me years to get where I am and I’m still learning but I hope you found this to be helpful and informative. It’s not an easy transition when it comes to shaking up your test buds and eating for your health rather than your belly but I can promise you it’s worth it!
Thanks Nina! Have you ever tried Chia seeds? If so, what’s your favorite way to use them?