Ch-ch-ch-chia!!

Does anyone else hate drinking water? For some reason, if I have more than a few ounces at a time, I invariably start to feel ill. No matter what temperature or how thirsty I am, a queasy feeling starts and doesn’t go away for at least ten minutes. Maybe I’m just a freak.

When transitioning to a vegan diet, I discovered chia as a substitute for eggs. I like to bake, so of course I thought the slimy slurry was the bomb-diggity. Then, I learned about Chia Fresca, a popular Mexican beverage. It’s basically lemonade mixed with chia seeds, and is touted as an all-natural energy drink. It sounded a little gross to me.

I’ll admit that the first swig was… interesting. A few swallows later and the chia seeds had all developed a nice coating of gel. It wasn’t long before I had downed an entire pint of slightly lemony water with chia. I waited for the ill effects. There were none. No sloshy feeling. No feelings of nausea. Just nice and hydrated. I filled up my mason jar again, this time nixing the lemon. (Yes, I love drinking out of my jars.) Pretty soon, I had polished off my third pint of water and chia. I think my husband was wondering where my evil twin must have disposed of my body.

So what about the facts? Ignore the ramblings of a tired nobody and let’s consult sciencey people.

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For reference, one Tablespoon of dried whole chia seeds is about 12g.

Worried about iron? Twelve grams of chia seed contains 4% of your iron.

In one tablespoon of these little seeds is a hefty 5g of fiber. Five grams. That’s almost 20% of your daily needs. Most Americans only manage to meet about 40% of their daily recommendation, so one measly little ounce (28g) will top that at 42% with 10.6g. Add to that the great boost of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids they have, and you’re already sitting pretty in terms of nutrition density.

That same little ounce has 9% protein, 18% calcium, 30% manganese, and 27% phosphorus. Eh? EH?

Next time you’re up late at night watching infomercials and a clay head with an adorable green “do” sprouts up (pun intended), you’ll remember to add more of those little seeds to your diet — or at least your lemonade.

Sources:
Nutrition Data. “Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Seeds, chia seeds, dried.” NutritionData.com. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2.

Spectrum Organics Chia Product Label. “Chi Seed”. Spectrumorganics.com. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from http://www.spectrumorganics.com/nutrition.php?pid=277.

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