LAST week, while browsing a health store, I came across something which I have only read about one too many times chia seeds (pic). Packed in a resealable container, the small black seeds were sold for $31.
From the countless articles, chia seeds are purported to be rich in omega goodness.
Personally, I love omega, as it helps with muscle recovery and all the other great things that comes with it. The unassuming black seeds are also high in fiber, protein, antioxidants and other nutrients.
A couple of years ago, when I first read about them in a health magazine, the thought of purchasing crossed my mind. But, with flaxseed oil and fish oil already in my daily cocktail of supplements, it was decided that I shouldn't waste any more money on something that would provide the same benefit.
Since it was just there, sitting prettily on the shelf, why not just go ahead and try them out, right? So, I brought home a 350g pack of chia seeds, which (I am hoping) will last for two months.
The directions say that the seeds could be mixed with water and left to stand until it forms a "gel-like substance", or sprinkled with meals as it will not compromise taste.
The seeds themselves are rather tasteless, in fact, they are odourless as well, making them tolerable to just eat on its own.
Because chia seeds are high in antioxidants, the oils in them (rich in fatty acids and omega) do not go rancid as quickly. This means that unlike the flaxseed oil I take, chia seeds have a longer shelf life.
As instructed, I left two tablespoons of chia seeds in some water, and it turned into an almost jelly-like consistency. I tried adding this to my juice. The seeds floated around, reminding me of the "jintan selasih" used to make the local drink "air kausar".
A quick gulp of my chia seed-infused juice confirmed that taste has not been compromised. With a jelly-like substance coating the seeds, the texture was indeed a lot like "jintan selasih".
Over the past few days, I have been sprinkling the seeds into my rice with most meals of the day, and adding them to my beverages as well. They are pretty easy to take, but not as convenient as taking omega in capsule form (fish oil, evening primrose, flaxseed).
As I do not have any problem with my blood pressure or blood sugar, its benefitting properties in these areas cannot be attested.
What I am concerned about is how much of the fatty acids can actually be readily absorbed by my body and how much I need to take in order to benefit.
Unlike capsules, it is hard to gauge the exact amount that you are consuming. The guess work involved is rather tedious.
Although no one food can be considered a "miracle substance", since I have already bought a whole pack of chia seeds, I might as well continue to enjoy its high antioxidant properties (hello anti-ageing!), and fibrous content.
So, if you happen to come across a pack of chia seeds, you might just want to give them a try as they can be used for baking (mixed into the batter or sprinkled on top), substitute fat when cooking (thanks to its gelling properties), and enjoyed with many dishes and drinks.
The Brunei Times
Monday, April 23, 2012
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