FITNESS & NUTRITION TIP #1
Dear fellow athletes,
we see our role not only in giving absolutely everything in our power so you can have inspiring training sessions, we see sports as a complete lifestyle choice! Today sees the start of our first series on the subject of fitness & nutrition. In the coming weeks, we’ll be feeding you a series of the latest titbits from our fitness kitchen. Get ready for tasty nibbles the hot nutrition trends, the basics and key facts! Training has to start from the inside and we’ll be hunting down the latest news for you – as we all know, it never hurts to try.
Let’s start with the latest secret weapon, Chia seeds. Maybe you’ve heard about them, since everyone’s talking about them as the hot new thing. Although unassuming, tiny and tasteless, they are quickly becoming larger than life!
LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING: WHERE DO THEY COME FROM ANYWAY?
The Superfood of the Week are originally from Mexico and luckily they have just become available here. Even the Maya people used them as a basic foodstuff and prized them for their specific healing powers. Two translations exist: one defines “Chia” as oily, on account of their high Omega 3 fatty acids content, the other is taken directly from the day-to-day language, where it means something like strength and power. According to popular medicine as practised in Mexico, as little as one teaspoon is enough to supply our daily nutrient needs. Their qualities have been valued by runners for years and the seeds have long been part of their nutrition plans. Chia seeds are said to boost stamina and muscle regeneration.
HOW DO CHIA SEEDS AFFECT OUR BODY?
Taken with the main meal of the day, they regulate blood sugar levels by “decelerating” the conversion process of carbs to sugar. The barrier erected between the enzymes of the digestive system and the ingested carbs enables the gradual and steady release of energy into the body and that in turn means: increased stamina!
On top of that, the seeds are helpful for our digestive system. If you soak the seeds in water before you eat them, they swell up and develop a coating of mucus. That’s good for hydrating the system without creating a heavy feeling in the stomach, and at the same time helps to cleanse the intestines and releases nutrients. They are a perfect supplement to your shakes just before you start your strength and fitness workouts.
WHAT EXACTLY DO THEY CONTAIN?
When you see the list of all the nutrients they contain, it’s clear why they fully deserve to be named “superfood” and why nutrition experts are so excited about them. They contain on average twice the protein found in other seeds or grains, they have a healthy ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids, making them an attractive option for vegetarians and they are also gluten-free. They also contain five times as much calcium as milk. In addition, Chia seeds also contain the micro nutrient Bor which stimulates the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
The list goes on, with twice as much potassium as bananas and three times the amount of antioxidants as the previous king of the antioxidants, the blueberry.
If you add the fact that they are also protein-rich it should be clear to everybody that this nutrition blockbuster is a must-have item in our daily life, not to mention in every fitness training plan.
HOW DO I EAT THE SEEDS AND WHERE CAN I GET THEM?
Packs of the seeds are now available in every organic store, market or supermarket and of course online as well. They are gradually becoming more easily available in well-stocked supermarkets. They are not exactly cheap, but each pack lasts for a while and their effect is amazing.
The easiest way to eat them is to put a few spoonfuls into a glass, fill it with water and then put it in your fridge. They only take about ten minutes to swell up and are easier to digest in this form. Your little “porridge” will easily keep for about 3 weeks. 2-3 teaspoons in your morning and you’re done. The dried seeds will keep for years without losing any of their potency.
Of course you can also use them as a garnish for salty dishes or add them to your smoothies or protein shakes. If you do that in the morning, they soon soften up in the liquid and if you feel like something crunchier you can just add them straight to your meal as a garnish.
Try some experiments of your own and feel free to share your experiences with us.
We’d love to hear from you!