We are constantly bombarded with new ideas of what is healthy and good for our bodies: do a cleanse, drink green juice, stay away from gluten, stay away from soda, stay away from sugar, eat organic … and there’s coconut oil, turmeric root, ginger tea, maca maca, and chia seeds, among dozens of other super foods. For some, it may feel a little overwhelming. However, if you’re a glass half full kind of person, you can look at all of the advice and pick a few things to work on and benefit from.
For example, chia seeds have become a new “thing” in the world of food. The only thing I remember hearing about chia as a child was the little chia pets that you would see on commercials that you could water and they would sprout green things (ch-ch-ch-chia!) However, the history of chia goes back centuries. It was first used by the Aztecs as early as 3500 BCE; it was used for medicinal purposes, used as food, mixed in drinks, ground into flour (which could be stored for a long time), and pressed into oil. It served as a high energy food and was often taken on long trips.
Chia seeds have many benefits. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids; they are rich in antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. They are also high in fiber; just one ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber.
Are chia seeds allowed on the GAPS Diet? Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, founder of the GAPS Diet, states:
“Flax and chia seeds and oils are allowed on the Full GAPS diet. As a whole seed they are very fibrous and should not be consumed until diarrhoea has cleared completely. People who are prone to constipation find it useful to take a teaspoonful of these seeds every morning, after the seeds have been soaking in water over night (they become jelly-like).”
Here is a delicious recipe incorporating chia seeds. As the seeds are not soaked, this would be an advanced recipe after digestive healing has taken place on the GAPS Diet. Enjoy!
Chia Energy Bites
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (divided into 1/2 cups)
1 cup almond butter (you could also use 1/2 c. almond butter, 1/2 c. peanut butter or another variation)
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbs. chia seeds
3-5 drops of orange essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients together (using only 1/2 cup shredded coconut). Roll the dough into balls and coat with the other 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. Place balls in a 9×13 pan and store in the fridge.
These are honestly so delicious that you won’t think about how healthy chia seeds are for you — promise! 😉