Superfoods – Chia Seeds For Runners

Ein Mann hält ein Glas Chiapudding in einer Hand und sein Smartphone in der anderen

Super seeds – Chia:
2 times the potassium content of bananas
3 times the antioxidants contained in blueberries
4 times as expensive as flax seeds (unfortunately, yet with good reason)

Ein Glas Chiapudding

“Chia” means “oily”. The name fits, as the seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Besides Quinoa, chia seeds were also a staple for the Aztecs and have become increasingly popular. Runners swear by their daily dose of chia to boost their endurance and improve muscle recovery. It is the following characteristics that make black and white chia seeds a valuable meal addition for runners (and non runners alike): 

  • rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron, calcium, vitamins & antioxidants
  • aid in digestion
  • regulate your blood sugar levels
  • lower your cholesterol level

Do chia seeds help you lose weight?

There is an ongoing debate about this topic.  Recently, Appalachian State University found, in a 12-day study of overweight women and men, that a certain amount of chia seeds per day does not have any influence on weight loss.

Are chia seeds actually healthier than flax seeds?

Unlike chia seeds, the slime layer of flax seeds is not on their outside, but on their inside.  Therefore, flax seeds only have similar effects to chia seeds when they are ground. You can use ground flax seeds just like your chia seeds but, make sure you use them as soon as possible as they turn rancid much faster when ground. When eaten as a whole, flax seeds tend to leave our digestive system exactly as they entered it–as a whole–and we miss out on their potential positive effects.
Bottom line:  The advantages of chia seeds for runners, and everyone for that matter, are their higher content in omega-3 fatty acids, the fact that they don’t have to be shredded and they last longer due to their high content of antioxidants.

How to use chia seeds:

Sprinkle on:

  • sandwiches
  • salads
  • granola

Add texture to:

  • Sports drinks:  Let 1-2 TBSP chia seeds soak in 3 TBSP water for approx. 15 to 30 minutes. Mix the mash into your pre-workout sports or isotonic drink.
  • smoothies
  • dressings / sauces
  • home-made ice cream
  • soups

Grow your own chia sprouts:

  • Sprinkle the chia seeds over a the bottom of a glass bowl (but make sure youdon’t completely cover the bottom, leave a bit of space between them).
  • Put the bowl into a warm, low-lit area of your kitchen (you can cover it, but not fully as the seeds need ventilation).
  • Wet the seeds every 8 hours (works best with a spray bottle).
  • As soon as green sprouts emerge, put the bowl in a sunny area and continue watering regularly.
  • After about 1 week, the sprouts will be of a healthy green and have open leaves.

Egg substitute (vegan!):

For baking:  Mix 1 TBSP of ground chia seeds and 3 TBSP of water for every egg you want to substitute.  Then, mix with the remaining ingredients.

Where to buy chia seeds:

In health food and natural food stores, as well as online.

How do you use your chia seeds?  Do you have any easy, creative recipes to share with us?  We’re looking forward to your comments.

Bye for now,
Vera

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Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy. She lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger »

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