Chia seeds are my choice for getting Omega-3s.
No doubt you’ve read about the importance of getting omega-3s in your diet. They are an essential nutrient but our bodies can’t produce them internally. (Like the 9 essential amino acids) Natural sources of omega-3s are: fish (especially sardines and salmon), flax seed, walnuts, kale, seaweed and chia seed.
While fish oil is the most well known source of omega-3s, there are issues surrounding it. Overfishing is already a problem for many species that are harvested for fish oil. There is also the consideration of mercury and other heavy metals which plague our oceans. Additionally, fish oil is obviously highly processed and is made with a base of gelatin, which is made from beef skin and pig hide. All this, together with my desire to have as minimal an impact on other species as possible keeps me away from fish oil.
I had been eating chia seeds for quite a while when I decided to test out other sources. I switched to flax seed for a month recently. Now, the first thing I noticed when I started eating chia seeds was the difference in my skin. In just 4 days it became amazingly soft and smooth. When I switched to the flax seed, that great skin feeling never came about, even after a full month. I found this interesting since by serving size, flax seed can have twice the omega-3 content than chia seed. So I switched back to chia seed.
Make sure you’re getting every drop of that omega-3 goodness.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fat and is an oil. If you’ve ever made orange juice, you know that you never get all of the juice from an orange. There’s always something left behind. The same holds true for getting omega-3s from chia seed.
If you grind chia seed to make the omega-3s more readily available for the body to absorb, you’ll lose some of the oils in the process. That’s why I recommend choosing whole seeds.
Find out about The Chia Co.’s products.
I read a lot of blogs and had found a recipe for a baked good of some sort with chia seed. Unfortunately I can’t go back far enough in facebook to find that recipe again, but I had asked the author which brand of seeds they used and they recommended The Chia Co. So off I went to Whole Foods and picked up a bag.
Previously, I had been using a different brand which will go unnamed. Their product is excellent but their price point was too high for me. When I tried The Chia Co., my main question was the quality: would I feel the same results as from that very high end brand. Happily the answer was yes.
I looked around their website and liked the vision of the company, their thoughts on their environmental impact and their desire to benefit the communities where the seed is grown.
I wrote to the company inquiring about affiliate programs. I made contact with a representative named Melissa and while informing me there was no affiliate option, she offered to send me product samples for my review. Since I’d already been buying their seeds, a few free sample sounded great!
So… white chia seeds, black chia seeds… is there a difference?
Since I already knew their product was high quality, my main question became: what is the difference between white and black chia seeds. Checking out the label, they have identical nutritional content. So perhaps the difference is in flavor.
The way I eat my seeds on a normal daily basis is rather utilitarian. I put two tablespoons into a glass of water, stir it up, let it sit momentarily, then slam it down. Doesn’t really give you much of a chance to check out “flavor”. So I got fancy and made some smoothies.
The first thing I learned is that I’m not good at making smoothies! The ones I made, shown above, were as thick as a well made milkshake! I only used 8 oz of the almond milk so for the recipe, I upped that to 12 oz. I made two smoothies that were identical except for the chia seeds. In the picture above, the one on the left had black seeds and the one on the right had white seeds. Can’t really see a difference, huh?
I shared the two with a friend and we both agreed, we couldn’t taste a difference either. I wrote back to Melissa and asked her about this:
Q: I made two smoothies with the same ingredients, one with white seeds and one with black seeds. We couldn’t taste any difference. The nutritional profiles on the two are identical. Why would someone choose white vs black chia seeds?
A: There is no nutritional or taste difference between black and white Chia seeds. The choice between the two colors is purely aesthetic. Depending on what food you are adding the Chia seeds to, you might prefer one color over the other.
As I mentioned, they also sent me these great premade chia puddings, Chia Pods.
Available in four different flavors, these single serving snack cups are an excellent choice for a healthy snack and for a post workout recovery snack.
Each of these are very clean, whole food snacks. Only one of them, the vanilla, even has four ingredients. The rest are just three ingredients.
Banana:Chia Seeds, Coconut Milk and Real Banana
161 Cal | 3 gm omega-3s | 6 gm Dietary Fiber | 12 gm Sugar | 3 gm Protein
Blueberry:Chia Seeds, Coconut Milk and Real Blueberries
130 Cal | 3 gm omega-3s | 7 gm Dietary Fiber | 5 gm Sugar | 3 gm Protein
Mango:Chia Seeds, Coconut Milk and Real Mango
149 Cal | 3 gm omega-3s | 6 gm Dietary Fiber | 11 gm Sugar | 3 gm Protein
Vanilla Bean: Chia seed, coconut milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon
164 Cal | 3 gm omega-3s | 5 gm Dietary Fiber | 10 gm Sugar | 3 gm Protein
They were all delicious. Of the four, my favorite is the blueberry. I didn’t expect to like the mango because as far as I was aware, I don’t like mango. Apparently I do because, man was that tasty!
They each have a really reasonable amount of calories and most of those calories are loaded with nutrition. Yes they all have more sugars than protein, but the sugars give you a quick blood sugar boost without any unnatural ingredients and the protein and fat allow the blood sugar to not simply spike then drop. You’ll get a smooth, even energy distribution.
So I definitely endorse, use and recommend The Chia Company.