The chia seed is a seed from a flowering plant similar to that of mint and it's real name is Salvia Hispanica. Chia seeds are a low calorie, nutrient rich super food that not only provides your body with protein, calcium, antioxidants, omega fatty acids and fiber, but a higher energy level as well. These tiny seeds were a staple food for the Aztecs and Mayans and they called them "strength" seeds. The seeds were ground up into flours, eaten raw before hunting trips, and almost seen as having magical like properties.
To some of you the chia seed may sound familiar to the flax seed, however you don't have to grind them up to receive all their health benefits.
Here are some of chia seeds' amazing qualities:
- The small chia seed will expand and absorb up to 12x its weight in water, juice, milk...whatever you chose to mix it with! Great for dieters since these seeds will fill you up while still being low calorie and also providing you with fiber.
- Chia seeds have more than 8x's the omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. They also have omega-6 fatty acids, both of which (3's and 6's) are essential to us since we can not make them in our bodies. These essential fatty acids help to rebuild our bodies including our hair, nails, skin, etc.
- These seeds can reduce depression, help with mental illnesses, and behavioral problems. The essential fatty acids are all proven to be crucial for your brain health and for membrane fluidity, which then effects enzymes and the rest of your body's ability to function properly.
- 1 ounce of chia seeds provides your body with 11 grams of fiber (clink this link to learn about fiber), 4 grams of protein, 18% of your recommended daily calcium intake, which is 3x more than milk!
- Naturally treats type 2 diabetes because of the gel-like coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids.
- Helps to prevent osteoporosis since it's high in calcium. So stronger teeth and bones for you! Between the calcium 18%, manganese 30%, and phosphorus 27% all per 1 ounce it's a winning package.
- These seeds don't have any cholesterol and are a great source of protein for all vegan and vegetarian friends.
- Reduce bloat and fight off belly fat! The seeds will continue to absorb water in your intestines to keep your fluids and electrolytes balanced, reduce insulin resistance, and keep you full longer.
- The chia seeds also show to improve blood pressure in diabetics.
- Chia seeds can be ground up, mixed with water and used in recipes to replace eggs! Those of you that know me understand why this is such great news!!!
- Natural energy booster. Known as "Runner's food" and good for all types of fitness pre or post workout.
- These seeds are tasteless and odorless so they can be added to anything. I drink mine daily in Synergy's Organic & Raw Chia Kombucha, I add them into oatmeal, smoothies and even mix them with coconut milk to make a pudding like dessert. This lady had some great ideas on her blog here. Whole Foods has a great pudding recipe here. Who wouldn't want to try Whole Wheat Chia Seed Pancakes?!
There are a number of products out there now that contain chia seeds (protein bars, kombucha, oatmeals) so check your local store and try some.
Remember that it's in all these small, little changes to our diet that we begin to feel better, look better and function better.