You may have noticed that your health-conscious pals are suddenly all about incorporating chia seeds into their diet. They're whipping them into smoothies and sauces, sprinkling onto cereal and salads, swirling into yogurt, and doing their best to ingest the little morsels every chance they get. But aside from the Chia Pet you used to marvel at in television commercials, chia is as foreign to you as a plant for a pet. And by the way, they're still being sold.
If you're not familiar with chia, as per WebMD, "Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds."
According to Nutiva, "When eaten dry, chia tastes a bit like a poppy seed. It is dense, small and crunchy. Soaked chia seeds absorb liquid and become very plump, sweet and soft like tapioca pearls."
They sound like they're pretty tasty and all the health-nuts are into them, so here are some reasons why you ought to be getting into the chia seed sensation too.
Chia seeds are considered a "superfood," as per Nutiva. Authority Nutrition tells us, "Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain."
One ounce has about 130 calories and delivers a wallop of nutrition per serving. These seeds are rich in calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, since, niacin, potassium, Omega-3s, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. As per Nutiva, "Chia seeds also contain healthy antioxidants, including caffeic and chlorogenic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol, which may prevent cellular damage."
Can you think of any other food that's so tiny that can enrich the body with so much goodness?
Packed with protein
As per WebMD, a serving of chia seeds has 4 grams of protein. Authority Nutrition explains, "By weight, they are about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants. They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids, so our bodies should be able to make use of the protein in them."
As Dr. Axe tells us, protein "helps improve muscle mass, fills us up to help manage weight, stabilizes blood sugar levels, helps improve mood, promotes healthy brain functioning, helps maintain strong bones, promotes heart health, slows aging, and more."
Those little seeds are surely helping to do a lot for our bodies thanks to their significant protein content.
Loaded with fiber
According to Nutiva, "A one ounce (28 g) serving of chia seeds contain 42 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber." Fiber aids in digestion and keeps us feeling satiated. Mayo Clinic tells us that fiber normalizes bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels, and aids in achieving a healthy weight. As Authority Nutrition notes, "The fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food."
As per Medical News Today, "The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine suggest that men under the age of 50 years should consume 38 grams of fiber per day and women under the age of 50 years should consume 25 grams per day."
With the fiber content found in just one ounce of chia seeds, it's easy to meet these recommended guidelines.