Naturallyorganic product of the month: organic chia seeds
Naturallyorganic, Avril Supermarché Santé’s home brand, offers exclusive products of superior quality. Avril’s founders, Sylvie Senay and Rolland Tanguay, carefully select each item during their numerous trips abroad, where they set out to discover local, responsible and eco-friendly producers. This month’s selection: organic chia seeds.
A superfood of choice
Originating from Mexico from the Salvia Hispanica L. plant, chia seeds were eaten and cultivated centuries ago by the Aztecs and Mayans. Although they have always been part of the basic diet of Latin Americans, it is only recently that they have attracted the attention of Canadians…and for a good reason. In addition to being a vegetarian source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and vitamin B9, chia seeds contain protein, omega 3 and 6 and are very high in fibre. Two tablespoons of chia seeds are equivalent to 28% of the recommended daily fibre intake for adults between the ages of 19 and 50 (which is 25g). In addition, because chia fibre is mostly soluble (it absorbs water, swells and gellifies), it helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, it controls blood sugar and prolongs satiety. Soluble fibre is recommended for people with IBS, since it is more gentle on the bowel.
Different ways to consume them
There are several ways to integrate chia seeds into your diet. You can add them in whole or ground form to various recipes (energy balls, chewy bars, crackers, puddings, smoothies, salad dressings, etc.), sprinkle them on cereal, groats and yogurts, or even use them as an egg substitute in cakes, muffins and breads. To do so, simply soak a tablespoon of chia seeds in three tablespoons of water to get the equivalent of one egg. Note: When a significant amount of fibre is consumed on a daily basis (eg. chia seeds), nutritionists recommend drinking a minimum of two liters of water a day to aid intestinal transit.
Naturallyorganic chia seeds are gluten-free and organic certified by Ecocert Canada, an inspection and certification agency that ensures compliance with specific standards for the production, preparation and distribution of organic food. The only difference between white and black chia seeds is that black seeds have a slightly more pronounced taste than white ones. Otherwise, their nutritional value is the same. In terms of shelf life, whole chia seeds can be stored for up to two years in a dry, cool place away from moisture and light. Milled, they can be kept for six months on the shelf and two years in the freezer. The refrigerator is not recommended since it has a high rate of humidity.