Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of yogurt. Right now, my baby’s bones are growing, and if I don’t eat enough calcium the baby will take it from my bones and teeth. I buy plain, whole milk yogurt and add a tiny amount of honey or agave nectar to it (though I’ve been weaning myself off the sweetener this week). I’ve also been adding about 2 T of chia seeds and some bee pollen. (Oh, for those of you who read 101 Cookbooks, I freely admit that this post was inspired by her recent and more beautiful one about yogurt.)
Bee pollen is considered a superfood and contains 22 amino acids, B vitamins, and thousands of enzymes and coenzymes. It is said to help treat allergies, digestive problems, depression, acne, and arthritis. Read here fore more information on some studies done with bee pollen, including an interesting one about cancer. (If starting to eat bee pollen for the first time, be aware that it can cause allergic reactions for some, so start with one or two granules at a time, and work your way up to half or a full teaspoon. Never heat it or add it to anything hot, because this will kill the beneficial enzymes. Store in the refrigerator.)
Chia seeds are full of fiber, Omega-3s, and especially good news for pregnant women– calcium! One ounce has 18% of the daily recommended amount of calcium. And 11 g. of fiber (for only 12 g. of total carbohydrates). That’s huge. (Though it’s worth doing some research to see if chia seeds are going the way of quinoa, becoming so high in price that the people who grow it and have depended on it for thousands of years can’t afford to eat it anymore. This article is worth a read.) When you stir the chia seeds into yogurt and let it sit for a few minutes, the seeds absorb liquid and become soft.
Yogurt is full of calcium, protein, B 2, B 5 and B 12, potassium, tryptophan, and beneficial bacteria. Fermented dairy products like yogurt, kefir, etc., have been a staple in traditional diets the world over and are a common feature of some of the cultures that boast the highest life expectancies. It’s also believed that the calcium in yogurt is more easily assimilated by the body than the calcium in regular milk.