How To Add More Fiber To Your Diet!
Some folks of a certain age may remember the silly “chia pets” sold as gifts, years ago. You sprinkled chia seeds on the back of a hedgehog-looking critter, applied water, and watched the “hair” grow. Amusing and novel. But at the time, it didn’t occur to anyone that we might make better use of those “hair seeds” as food.
That’s all changed now. Chia has moved into the trendy-foods spotlight recently. Americans are finally discovering what the ancient Mesoamericans knew for centuries: Chia is a great food that delivers the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and provides a slew of important natural antioxidants. Among these are quercetin, myricetin, and kaempferol. These natural antioxidants have been linked to numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Chia is also high in fiber, which is good for the health of one’s gut microbiome. That, in turn, is emerging as one of the foundations of good health. Rounding out chia’s nutritional profile is a slew of vitamins and minerals. A 100 gram serving supplies about half of one’s daily need for certain important B vitamins, for example.
Pumped Up Chocolate Shake!
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons black chia seeds
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 1/3 cup roasted + shelled pistachios, plus more for topping
- 3 frozen medium + very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt or use coconut milk yogurt for a vegan option
In a small bowl mix together the milk and chia seeds. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes.
In the blender add the chia seeds + milk mixture, the frozen banana chunks, Protein powder, greek yogurt. Blend until thick, creamy, and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. If the shake is too thick add more milk to your liking.
Farro is an ancient strain of wheat. If you’re avoiding gluten, this one’s not for you then, although research suggests that the amount of gluten in some strains is far lower than that found in more modern varieties of wheat. If you’re adventurous, and enjoy a delightfully nutty chewy texture, similar to bulgar, or brown rice, you may wish to give this ancient grain from the Fertile Crescent a try. This grain is high in fiber and certain vitamins, such as B3 and minerals, such as zinc.
Hung CH1, Chan SH2, Chu PM3, Tsai KL1. Quercetin is a potent anti-atherosclerotic compound by activation of SIRT1 signaling under oxLDL stimulation. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Jul 23. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201500144. [Epub ahead of print]
Vincentini O1, Borrelli O, et al. T-cell response to different cultivars of farro wheat, Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum, in celiac disease patients. Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;28(3):272-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Apr 23.