What's Up with Chia?
So what is this mysterious Chia Berry Lemonade concoction? When hearing chia some may instantly think of the classic "Ch-Ch-Ch Chia" commercial featuring chia seeds bursting out of a silly cartoon figure's head (as seen below).
But the Chia Berry Lemonade at the Green Sage Cafe is far more than that. It is a house-made, full-bodied specialty lemonade featuring all kinds of nutritionally wonderful ingredients including Zhena's Wild Berry Hibiscus Tea, chia seeds, and strawberry lemonade (see below for a detailed list of ingredients). But what even really defines full-bodied? The Chia Berry Lemonade is more like a beverage fuel, far more substantial than a regular ole energy drink. How? Let's start with the Chia seed.
Dating back to ancient Aztecs of Mexico, the chia seed was used as a staple food, sustaining them during long hunting expeditions and battles. Even more remarkably, the Tarahumara people of northern Mexico, have been known for their incredible endurance during long marches and runs, at times running their prey to exhaustion. It is said they subsisted on just a single serving of chia seeds (one to three tablespoons). But aside from making it possible for you to win your next triathlon, chia seeds are also known for a number of other nutritional wonders including:
- One of the Best Sources of Nutrients (calorie for calorie): A 1 ounce serving of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber , 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 18% calcium of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), 30% manganese of RDA, 30% magnesium of RDA, 27% phosphorus of the RDA. All while only containing 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate.
- Good Source of Protein: Unlike most protein-rich foods, the protein chia seeds contain is more easily digested and absorbed into the body.
- Plenty of Antioxidants: High in antioxidants, chia seeds help fight free radicals which can contribute to the damaging of cells and cause of diseases.
- Major Health Benefits: Research shows that regular consumption of chia seeds helps increase lean muscle, slow the digestion of carbohydrates, improve metabolism, and lower cholesterol.
And that's just one part of the mixture! What about the tea? Who even is Zhena's? Zhena's is a 100% organic and 100% fair trade company producing delicious teas and herbal infusions (find more information at www.zhenas.com). Zhena's Wild Berry Hibiscus Tea is featured in our Chia Berry Lemonade and is packed with another list of great ingredients including rooibus, rosehip, hibiscus, and elderberry.
Starting with rooibus, the health benefits include:
- Naturally Caffeine Free Tea: requires no chemical process to remove the caffeine since the rooibus plant grows naturally caffeine free.
- Powerful Antioxidants: two polyphenol antioxidants called aspalathin and nothofagin are found in high concentrations within rooibus tea.
- High Mineral Content: including magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
- Relief from Stomach Pain: contains high amounts of flavonoids, particularly quercetin, that serves as an anti-inflammatory that can reduce abdominal discomfort and encourage digestion.
- Cardiovascular Benefits: the flavonoid called chrysoeriol is found in rooibus tea and aids in blood circulation and helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. Rooibus tea has also been linked to the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol.
Similar to Rooibus, research on the Hibiscus plant has shown it may also have the power to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Yet another ingredient rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, is the elderberry. They provide a wide range of health benefits including relief from flu and cold symptoms and boosting the immune system.
And lastly, rosehip, the fruit of the rose, is one of the richest sources of vitamin C out there, containing 50% more vitamin C than oranges, helping boost the immune system. Yet another source of antioxidants, rosehips are considered a cancer preventative. Studies in Denmark and Germany have also shown that rosehip may be beneficial in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
So if that isn't enough to convince you to gulp down a cool, fresh Chia Berry Lemonade before your next hike or run, then come on in to one of our three Green Sage locations and give it a taste for yourself!
Chia Berry Lemonade
Ingredients: Water, Chia Seeds*, Wild Berry Hibiscus Tea*, Lemon Juice, Sugar*, Strawberry Puree.