Chia seeds are making a popular comeback from the Aztecs in 3500 BC, to the Tarahumara endurance Indians, then the 1980s unforgettable novelty Chia Pets, to now as a healthy superfood.
It was the Tarahumara Indians, however, who can provide one of the best examples as to why runners should consume these little seeds. Their strategy for hunting was running their prey to exhaustion, and it was chia that fueled these many-mile chases.
Similar to flax and sesame seeds, chia can benefit runners because of the following: the healthy omega-3 fats help to stabilize your heart rhythm and reduce inflammation, fiber to keep you satisfied, protein to build and maintain muscle, and antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress on the body. When wet, they turn gelatinous which allows them told hold up to 12 times their weight in water, aiding in hydration.
So in your next race, run like the wind… or a Tarahumara Indian!
Fun Fact: Chia is the Mayan word for “strength.”
Lemon Chia Muffins
- 1 ¾ cup gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, lemon zest, and almond milk until creamy. Then add the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until batter is fully blended (Do not over stir).
- Spoon batter into 18 greased muffin cups (or use paper liners), until two-thirds full.
- Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove the baked muffins from pans and set on wire cooling rack.
- Beat together the lemon juice and honey into a syrup. Using a toothpick, poke holes into the baked muffins and drizzle with lemon/honey mixture.
NUTRITION (serving size 1 muffin):
146 calories, 18g carbs, 8g fat, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 174mg sodium
Questions or comments? Tweet me @DietDivaTara
Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.