Braces Friendly Foods Series | Chia Seeds
I love Chia seeds! Chia seeds have been used by the Aztecs many centuries ago as staple food. Most people know Chia as Chia Pets growing them for fun at home. But Chia is seriously nutritious high in Omega 3 fatty acids containing high amounts of antioxidants purportedly more than Flax seeds. Furthermore, they don’t have to be ground up like you have to with Flax seeds.
Raw, unground dried Chia Seeds.
Chia Seeds can be baked, eaten raw, mixed into your favorite braces friendly oatmeal, soups, foods and beverages.
Discussion & Summary:
We can easily digest Chia seeds and contain high amounts of dietary fibers per ounce (~3 tablespoons). An ounce of Chia seeds will give you 12 gm of dietary fiber, ~4900 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids (wow, a lot more than those huge fish oil capsules), 5 gm of proteins and 10 gms of healthy polyunsaturated fats. In addition, they’ll give you calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron, niacin and zinc.
I was first introduced to Chia seeds when I came across them at Costco. At that time they were selling them under the brand name of Earthly Choice for ~$12 for a 2 lb bag. I was sorely disappointed when they don’t sell it anymore. Health food stores sell them but at a steeper price. Even Sprouts in Tucson sell them in bulk for $10/lb. I also noticed a difference in color between the Earthly Choice/Spectrum brands vs the bulk at Sprouts. The bulk Chia seeds appear lighter in color compared to the Earthly Choice and Spectrum brands (see picture above). I’m not sure if the color difference has anything to do with their nutritious values but the more expensive brands supposedly seal their bags with inert gas to increase shelf life while the bulk seeds just sit in open air. However, the bulk Chia seeds from Sprouts taste better in my Power Chia Oatmeal Breakfast, yum!
Please also note that Chia seeds absorb water a lot and makes a jelly like outer layer. So when cooking with Chia, remember to use a lot of liquids or use sparingly depending on the food or beverage. I personally try to eat lots of them at once for their health benefits so I have to eat the food immediately or the seeds will suck dry the liquid.
Chia Seed Nutritious fact.
PS: don’t forget to brush teeth and braces after eating, Chia seeds have been known to get stuck between teeth and especially so with braces. One day I noticed a green thing sprouting out of the sink hole. At first I ignored it. Then it grew taller by the day. Lo and behold, here is a Chia Pet growing in my sink! Yeah, we don’t want Chia Pets growing out of our braces either, it wouldn’t be funny =)