The month of March is National Nutrition Month (#NNM). The awareness and education campaign is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (known previously as the American Dietetic Association). Its’ purpose is to promote good nutrition by spreading awareness and education about nutritional choices, and to challenge people to make the healthiest food choices they can. This month we are blogging, posting, and tweeting about #NNM. We will share our delicious & nutritious recipe ideas and nutrition-packed foods for you and your family to try.
The Super Seed: 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds
If you haven’t tried chia seeds you are missing out! Chia seeds are the hottest super food and phenomenally rich in health benefits. One serving has:
- 5 x more calcium than milk
- More than 1/3 of your daily fiber intake
- 27% of your daily value of phosphorus
- 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 percent of the daily value
- They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 (the vital fats that protect against inflammation) & contain more Omega-3 than salmon!
- 3x more antioxidant power than blueberries
- Helps to regulate insulin
- Cleanses the colon and absorbs harmful toxins
- Contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to improve mood and regulate appetite and sleep
- Combat diabetes by helping to control blood sugar
Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant salvia hispanica, grown in Central America dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. “Chia” means strength, and serves as a perfect name for this super seed, because they are filled with nutrients, protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat. Chia seeds are popular for weight loss, energy, and make a great healthy substitute for those with food allergies. They reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system – making you feel full. This is because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel.
Chia Seed Pudding
This tasty treat is nutritional and remarkably simple – All you need is one bowl! (serves 4 – 6)
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 3 cups nut milk, coconut or hemp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp of birch sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch of sea salt
Place the chia seeds and dry ingredients in the bowl, add in milk (almond is my favorite) and then vanilla. Stir well, so that there are no clumps and the chia seeds are coated in milk. Let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate. Within one hour you should have a delicious pudding (similar to tapioca). If it isn’t sweet enough feel free to add a bit of agave nectar or a handful of fruit.
Chia Seed Gel
Easy and energizing!
- 2 Tbs chia seeds
- 1 cup coconut water
Add two tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water and let sit for ten minutes. Like recently-introduced products from energy and sports drink companies, you’ll have a thick hydration and energy gel that’s great for runners’ recovery or other athletic activity
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.
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