Chia Seeds have so many benefits and are definitely a part of my diet now.
I add them into my smoothies in the morning, I put in about 2 oz. of chia seeds. It blends nicely and you don't taste them at all...all those yummy benefits hidden in yummy sweetnes of my green smoothie.
Here is some info that I have found and complied for your learning pleaure:
Chia Seeds: could they be The New Super Grain?
The nutritional community is all abuzz about a “Supergrain” that contains even more
omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds. Not only that, it is touted as having the highest fiber
content of any food, as being beneficial for type II diabetics and possibly even as providing
a remedy for world hunger. We are talking about chia seeds.
Chia, is familiar to most of us as a seed used for the novelty of the Chia Pet™- clay animals with sprouted Chia seeds covering their bodies. Little is known, however, of the seeds tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties. For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running form the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment.
If you try mixing a spoonful of Chia in a glass of water and leaving it for approximately 30 minutes or so, when you return the glass will appear to contain not seeds or water, but an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. Research believe this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when food containing these gummy fibers, known as mucilages, are eaten. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes, diminishing the surges of highs and lows creating a longer duration in their fueling effects.
Chia seeds are the definitive hydrophilic colloid for the 21 century diet. Hydrophilic colloids, (a watery, gelatinous, glue-like substance) form the underlying elements of all living cells. They posses the property of readily taking up and giving off the substances essential to cell life. The precipitation of the hydrophilic colloids cause cell death.The food we eat, in the raw state, consist largely of hydrophilic colloids. When cooked on the other had, precipitates its colloidal integrity.
When the Chia seeds are consumed there is a significant change, in the lower gastrointestinal tract, which is due to the effect of the hydrophilic colloid and this precipitates a more complete digestion-taking place along the entire tract due to physio chemical alterations. There is undoubtedly a better assimilation of food that supports enhanced nutritional absorption while significantly extending necessary hydration as well as encouraging proper elimination.
As a source of protein, the Chia, after ingestion, is digested and absorbed very easily. This results in rapid transport to the tissue and utilization by the cells. This efficient assimilation makes the Chia very effective when rapid development of tissue takes place, primarily during growth periods if children and adolescents. Also for the growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation, and this would also include regeneration of muscle tissue for conditioning, athletes, weight lifters, etc.
According to Dr. Vladimir Vuksan, a leading researcher on functional foods and diabetes at
the University of Toronto, chia has great health potential. He has found that 3oz of Chia seed gel has as much calcium as three cups of milk, as much fiber as one and a quarter cups of All-Bran cereal, as much iron as five cups of raw spinach, as much vegetable protein as one and a half cups of kidney beans, as much potassium as one and a half bananas, as much vitamin C as seven oranges and contains the same amount of omega-3 fats as 28 ounces of Atlantic salmon.
The Chia seed has a high oil content, and the richest vegetables source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid. It has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. These oils, unsaturated fatty acids, are the essential oils your body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, & K. Chia seeds are rich in the unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic, which the body cannot manufacture. When there are rich amounts of linoleic acid sufficiently supplied to the body trough diet, linoleic and arachidonic acids can be synthesized from linoleic acid. Unsaturated fatty acids are important for respiration of vital organs and make it easier for oxygen to be transported by the blood stream to all cells, tissues, and organs. They also help maintain resilience and lubrication of all cells and combine with protein and cholesterol to form living membranes that hold the body cells together. Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for normal glandular activity, especially of the adrenal glands and the thyroid glad. They nourish the skin cells and are essential for healthy mucus membranes and nerves. The unsaturated fatty acids function in the body by cooperating with vitamin D in making calcium available to the tissues, assisting in the assimilation of phosphorus, and stimulating the conversion of carotene into vitamin A. Fatty acids are related to normal functioning of the reproductive system. Chia sees contain beneficial long-chain triglycerides (LCT) in the right proportion to reduce cholesterol on arterial walls.
The Chia seed is also a rich source of calcium as it contains the important mineral boron, which acts as catalyst for the absorption and utilization of the calcium by the body.
Making Chia Gel (9to1 ratio): Put water in a sealable plastic container and slowly pour seed into water while briskly mixing with a wire whisk. This process will avoid any clumping of the seed. Wait a couple of minutes, whisk again and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk again before using or storing in refrigerator (Gel will keep up to 2 weeks).