Long before Chia Pets were a pop culture fad, Chia seeds were considered a staple of the Aztecs. According to Keren Gilbert MS, RD, a registered dietitian and certified nutritionist, this ancient “superfood” is an item that everyone should incorporate into their daily diet.
“Chia seeds are rich in many nutrients including antioxidants, minerals, fiber, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids,” notes Gilbert, Founder and President of Decision Nutrition™, a nutrition consulting firm. “In addition to nutritional benefits, Chia seeds are low in calories and are a great supplement for weight loss because they are an appetite suppressant.”
Chia seeds are considered hydrophilic or “water-loving” and can absorb nearly 12 times their weight in water. Gilbert explains that this process can prolong hydration and regulate the body’s absorption of nutrients to keep clients feeling full longer. “Many clients make the mistake of skipping meals to try and lose weight. In reality this just slows down your metabolism because your body is trying to conserve energy,” adds Gilbert. “Instead start your morning with a filling snack by simply sprinkling the seeds on oatmeal or adding to shakes and smoothies.”
Below is Nutritionist Keren Gilbert’s recipe for a Chia Seed Smoothie:
- 1 large peeled orange
- 1 tablespoon Chia seeds
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 banana (frozen)
- 1 teaspoon of stevia sweetener like SweetLeaf or Nu Natural White Stevia Powder
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth, and enjoy!
Check out Keren’s new book, The HD Diet, available for preorder now.
Topmost image by Health Gauge on Flickr.