Chia seeds.

Chia Seeds, A Popular Superfood

You may have heard of chia pets – clay figurines where chia sprouts grow to be like animals’ hair or fur. Many have become fond of these “pets” and were given as gifts and made someone happy. But have you heard about chia seeds? These days they have become increasingly popular as a superfood. Many are eating chia seeds for its nutritional value.

Chia seeds are oval gray seeds with black and white spots. The seeds are so tiny they’re just about 1 millimeter in diameter. A distinct characteristic of these seeds are the way they can easily absorb liquid 12 times its weight. When soaked it also becomes like gel, making it great for use in creams and beverages. The seeds come from the plant Salvia hispanica of the mint family and originated from Central America. Historically, these seeds were eaten by Aztecs and Mayans. “Chia” actually means “strength” in the Mayan language. Let’s find out if the chia seeds really live up to its name and if it will provide you with “strength” by checking out its advantages.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds may be small, but they are packed with a lot of nutrients that are good for your body. There are lots of benefits of chia seeds.

The high amount of antioxidants in the seeds helps in fighting aging and cancer. Because the seeds are high in fiber it is good for the intestines. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which are found in chia seeds are great for healthy bones. According to studies, chia seeds may decrease the spike of blood sugar after a high carbohydrate meal of those with type 2 diabetes. Chia seeds also decreases inflammation and improve your energy. Because it’s rich in protein, it is good for the muscles, skin and hair. It is also good for the heart because of omega 3 fatty acids and the fiber in it.
If you want to lose weight, eating chia seeds can you help you with that. When the seeds become gel-like in your stomach, it will make you feel full so you don’t have to eat more than you need to. Chia seeds are high in protein and when you have higher intake of protein your appetite tends to slow down. You will also are less likely to think about food or to want to have midnight snacks. Who wouldn’t want that?
But of course the benefits can be there but eating chia seeds should be coupled by other factors such as having a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy diet. You can’t just eat chia seeds and lose weight. You would also need to eat other nutritious food and exercise as well.

Chia seeds side effects

If you are going to eat chia seeds to lose weight, you should not go around and eat chia seeds all day and every day. You should determine how much chia seeds for weight loss. There are chia seeds side effects so you have to be careful. The recommended dosage for chia seeds is taking in 20 grams or about 1 ½ tablespoons, twice a day. That is the chia seeds daily amount. So try not to eat too much.

Because chia seeds are high in fiber, eating too much of these might have a side effect on your digestive system. You might get pain in the abdomen, gas, constipation or diarrhea. If you are taking medicine for high blood pressure or blood thinners, taking chia seeds might also affect your health. If you have allergies to food like sesame or mustard seeds, you might want to avoid chia seeds as well.

You also need to be careful of eating too much of chia seeds as you may choke because of its gelling properties. There was a study of a man who ate dry chia seeds and then drank water. The expanded seeds blocked his esophagus and he was taken to the hospital to take them out. Be sure to soak chia seeds for 5-10 minutes before taking them. Another danger to not preparing chia seeds correctly is when you eat dry seeds; it might soak liquid from your body – which is not good since chia seeds absorbs 12 times its weight.

So if you ask, can you eat too many chia seeds? Yes, you actually can. But these should not stop you from eating them (except if you have allergies and taking the medication mentioned before). Just eat in moderation and you’ll do great enjoying chia seeds and the good health benefits they offer.

Eating Chia Seeds

If you’ve never had chia seeds before you should try it. It used to be sold mostly online or in natural food stores but now many grocery stores have them, thanks to the growing popularity of these nutritious seeds. So head on out to your nearest grocery stores and get those chia seeds.

It tastes bland so you can mix many flavors with it and do so many things with it. You don’t need to ground it. Try sprinkling chia seeds over cereals, yogurt, vegetables or rice. It is also great for porridge, pudding, smoothies and beverages. If you need to thicken your sauce, adding chia seeds will do the trick. If you are avoiding eggs, chia seeds can be your substitute.

There are many recipes out there with chia seeds as the main ingredient. Here’s a basic recipe for chia seeds pudding to start you off. You’ve got to have chia seeds – 6 tablespoons would be just right. You need the liquid where the seeds will soak – about 2 cups coconut milk, almond milk or regular milk will do. If you want it on the sweet side, add a tablespoon of honey, maple syrup or plain old sugar. Add a little bit of vanilla and mix. The pudding should be ready in less than 30 minutes but if you want it to really set; you can leave it in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy it the next day. Get a portion of the pudding and top it with your favorite berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries. Sounds so yummy! Now that would be a great start to enjoying your chia seeds.

Avocado

The Avocado

It is green or purple on the outside. It is egg-shaped, pear-shaped or spherical. Inside, you will find yellow-green creamy flesh and there’s a big seed called “pit” or “stone.” It is a fruit that originated in Mexico but is loved by many around the world. There are many ways you can prepare this fruit. It is packed with nutrients that will sure make one healthy. Some call it an “alligator pear” because of its green and bumpy skin. Others call it the “butter fruit.” It is the avocado.

How to Eat An Avocado

For those who are unfamiliar about how to open an avocado, it’s just simple. Get a knife and cut the avocado lengthwise in half (do not cut the seed). When you open up the avocado, the seed will stick to one side. To remove the seed, some strike the seed with a knife and then pull the seed out with it. Others use the pointed edge of the knife to pry the seed out. If you opt to use a knife, use a cloth while holding the avocado to protect your hand. A better option can be to just use a spoon to pry the pit out. This way, you can avoid cutting your hand.

Once you’re done with that, you can prepare the avocado for whatever you want to use it for. Using the knife cut the avocado flesh using a cross-hatch pattern. Then scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

There are so many ways how to eat avocado. If you just want to keep it simple, you can just add sea salt and black pepper. If want more on the sour side, add lemon or lime juice. Add avocado to your sandwich and take your sandwich to a whole new level. Instead of butter or mayonnaise, you can use avocado for your breads as a healthy option. You can add it to your salads, too. Another very famous way to prepare avocado is to make it into guacamole. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, chilies, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to your avocado and you’ve got some yummy guacamole. The only thing missing are the chips! Avocados are usually eaten raw but if you want to try cooked avocado, you can turn it into soup. Use heavy cream, some broth, salt and lime juice and you have a hearty soup. Another way to eat avocado is as a dessert. Yes, you read that right! Many Asian countries prepare avocado as a sweet treat. Add condensed milk and serve it with ice for a cool way to end your avocado meal.

Avocado Health Benefits

Some call it a superfood which contains about 20 vitamins and minerals. Here are some avocado health benefits.

Avocado is one of the fattiest plant foods available. But it is not the fat that we don’t like, it contains healthy fats called oleic acid also found in olive oil. This type of fat is good for the heart.

Avocados are rich in potassium. If you’re not a fan of bananas and you need potassium in your body, avocados are the way to go. This can help you reduce blood pressure as well as kidney failure.

Because avocados are rich in fiber, it is suitable for weight loss as well as good metabolism. Avocados are also rich in anti-oxidants like lutein which are good for your eyes. When you eat avocado, you also increase anti-oxidant absorption. The Vitamin K in avocados helps you have healthier bones. If you have arthritis, eat avocado – many studies have shown that eating avocado can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. The folate in avocados reduces the risk of depression.

Avocado and diabetes can be related to each other. The good fat found in avocados is beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes. Avocados are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. Because of the latter, the fruit doesn’t spike blood sugar. The healthy fat makes one feel full longer so one doesn’t eat more which may lead to losing weight and losing weight can increase insulin sensitivity.

Avocado Cons

As healthy as avocado is, there may be some disadvantages to eating it as well. If you are breastfeeding, it is best to avoid avocado as it reduces milk production. If the mother eats too much avocado, they baby might also have an upset stomach. You may also have allergies when you eat avocado like itchy mouth and swelling tongue.

There might be bad things about avocado, but the key is to eat it in moderation. Too much of something is not really good for the health.

Growing Avocados

If you want to grow your own avocados you can. Growing avocados can be easy. Remove the pit from the avocado fruit. Don’t remove the brown skin because that’s the seed cover. Look for the bottom part which is flat and where the roots will grow; and for the top part which is more elongated and where the sprout will come out. Get four toothpicks and stick them on the seed at a slightly downward angle. Submerge the seed halfway in a clear glass of water. Put the glass where there’s sunlight. You would have to wait for 2-4 weeks, changing the water every week or so. When the sprout has grown to 6-7 inches, you would need to cut it back to 3 inches and let it grow to 6-7 inches again then you can transfer it to a pot with soil. Water it often and wait for the fruits.

How to Ripen Avocados

You can wait for your avocado trees to bear fruit but it will take years though. So while waiting, you can go to the grocery store and get some more avocados (you can plant more seeds after you’re done eating the avocados). If the avocados you find are still unripe here’s how to ripen avocados. You can just put it on the fruit tray and place it where the sun can reach it and wait for about two days. If you need the avocados sooner than that, you can ripen them faster by putting about two or three fruits in a brown paper bag. It needs to be closed and stored at room temperature. You can put an apple or banana in the bag as well – the ethylene in the ripe fruits can help the avocados ripen even faster. Remember, do not microwave the avocado – it won’t turn out good. You will know that the avocado is already ripe if the stem comes off easily and the skin underneath is green. The avocado will also feel firm and soft but not squishy. When you’ve picked your ripe avocado, it’s time to dig in.