As we move deeper into the dog days of summer, I’ve observed an increase in cramping issues cropping up in classes. If you’ve been suffering from leg and foot cramps, consider adopting one of the following practices.
One of my favourite — and super simple — tips for increasing water consumption is leaving a large pitcher at your desk to drink from throughout the day (I recommend this brand.) Another is to snack on fresh cucumber slices or cubed watermelon, since both are water-dense. Increasing consumption of greens, seeds, and unsweetened coconut water is also wise given that these foods are high in electrolytes.
Another tip? Consuming chia seeds! Loaded with fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, chia seeds are an amazing and easily accessible superfood that just so happens to support good hydration. Not only are these seeds rich in vitamins and minerals (particularly calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus), but chia seeds can absorb roughly 30 times their weight in water. This quality helps them to regulate body fluid levels and retain electrolytes — one of the reasons chia seed is considered a top food for runners. For example, in Born to Run, author Christopher McDougall outlines how chia seeds became a dietary (and perhaps magical) staple of the Tarahumara Indians, a tribe of lightning-fast runners in Mexico.
Like flax seeds, chia seeds are very high in fibre and facilitate amazing digestion and proper elimination. This may be particularly helpful for those who suffer from bloating, constipation, and related issues.
For reference, a serving of chia seeds is around 2 tablespoons, or 24 grams.
Some ways to incorporate chia seeds:
1) Make a chia fresca. It does have a bit of a slimy texture, so it isn’t for everyone. GTs makes a kombucha with chia seeds, which makes for a great pre-workout snack or drink.
2) Start your day with chia seed pudding.
3) Add a serving to your morning smoothie, bowl of porridge, or over your lunch salad.
4) Use as an egg replacement (“chia egg”) in baked goods, or add some to your favourite healthy muffin, pancake, or granola recipe.
5) Make easy homemade chia jam.
- Blackberry Chia Seed Jam
- Chia Seed Jam 3 Ways (I’d swap coconut sugar for the regular refined stuff)
How do you include chia seeds in your diet? Do you have any favourite or go-to recipes? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
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