Health Benefits of Chia Seeds and Basil Seeds

On our menu, Bamboozle’s teas, smoothies, and milk drinks have the option to add chia seeds or basil seeds.  If you are not familiar with them (besides planting basil in your garden or growing a Chia Pet), they have tons of health benefits and are considered a superfood!

Chia seeds are from the Salvia Hispanica plant – a relative of mint.  They have been incorporated into peoples’ diets since ancient times.  The word “chia” actually comes from the Mayan word for “strength”Aztec warriors ate them in preparation for battle, and their messengers would fuel up with them before long distance runs. Plus, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico ate them for energy before hunting by running their prey to exhaustion.

The basil seed is a cousin of the chai and is often found in Asian drinks and desserts.  The few differences between the two varieties are chai seeds come in a array of brown, black and grey colored oval seeds, whereas basil seeds are slighted longer in shape and are black.  Another difference between these two healthy superfoods is, when mixed with a liquid, the basil seed will form a gelatinous outer-coat within minutes as oppose to the chai seed, which can take up to a few hours.

Chia seeds and basil seeds are packed with nutrients.  Just 2 tablespoons has:

  • Two times the iron and magnesium of a cup of spinach
  • As much calcium as ½ cup of milk
  • Five times the Omega-3 of a ¼ cup serving of walnuts
  • As much potassium as 1/3 of a banana
  • Two times the fiber of a cup of oatmeal

 

They also absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, so they expand in your stomach and make you feel full so you don’t eat too much.  When mixed with a liquid, they get a gel-like consistency, so you can drink them through a straw and swallow them whole.  You can also add them to your favorite baked goods, mix them into oatmeal, add them to parfaits, or blend them with shakes.

 

If you want to incorporate this superfood into your diet, check out this article: 31 Healthy & Delicious Ways to Cook with Chia Seeds.  And next time you order a drink at Bamboozle, try adding some!

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