chia seeds paleo

Chia, if you are old enough, harkens back memories of lame, late night commercials of vegetation laden clay pets.  If you are not old enough to know what I’m talking about, be thankful.  We recently had a reader and app user ask about Chia Seeds and its nutritive values.  Alisa at paleoinpdx kindly took on Chia Seeds.  Without, further ado, enter Alisa.

What is Chia Seed?

Chia seed, or Salvia hispanica as it’s scientifically known, is a type of flowering plant in the mint family. It is native to central and southern Guatemala and Mexico, and dates back to the Aztec and Mayan cultures.

Chia seeds are edible and unprocessed, containing a mild and nutty flavor. They’ve gained a lot of momentum recently as a superfood, and can be used in smoothies or snack bars, sprinkled atop of vegetables, made into pudding or mixed with water to form a gel, which can then be used as an egg replacer. Chia seeds do not require soaking and will just absorb the liquid anyway since they are highly mucilaginous.

A one-ounce serving (2 Tbsp) contains about 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat and 12 grams of carbohydrates. Additionally, chia is extremely rich in fiber, boasting 11 grams per one-ounce serving. Chia seed also contains plant omega-3 fatty acids (ALA), antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.

Is Chia Seed Paleo?

Ultimately, yes, but consume with caution because it is extremely fiber-dense. Also, don’t use chia seeds as a source of omega-3s. Reason being, we are not efficient at converting plant omega-3s (ALA) into EPA and DHA, which are the long-chain omega-3s we need. And,according to Mark Sisson, most of the omega-3s from chia seed is wasted. Maybe chia seed really is better on top of a ceramic head to grow, “hair” (“ch-ch-ch-chia’).

What do you think of chia seed? Is it everything it’s made out to be?

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