Chia seeds are not just for sprouting on terra cotta pots anymore! They are a powerhouse of nutrition and something that are easily incorporated into any nutritional plan. Chia seeds are from a plant in the mint family, called Salvia hispanica. Using them as an energy source, the Aztecs and Mayans were the first to find the benefits of these wonderful seeds. When added to liquid, these amazing little seeds absorb up to 10 times their weight in water and form a protective and important gel coating.

What are the benefits of Chia?

  • Fiber-There are 11g of fiber per ounce. Just one serving gets you well on the way to your daily needs!
  • Omega Fatty Acids-Chia seeds contain Omega-3. In fact, they are the best known plant source of this essential fatty acid, which helps promote cell formation and function.
  • Calcium-Chia seeds contain calcium, but more importantly, also contain boron. Boron helps the body better absorb calcium. So that calcium supplement you take every morning will be better absorbed into your body thanks to Chia!
  • Protein-Chia seeds are a complete plant protein. This protein will help feed and build the muscles in your body.
  • Blood sugar-The gel that is formed when chia absorbs water will help to slow carbohydrate conversion, which will help stabilize your blood sugar. Incidentally, this will also help you feel full longer, for those of us that are trying to lose weight!
  • Gluten free-For those of us on a gluten free diet, chia seeds can be safely added in to your daily food plan.

How do I use Chia?

Many people add chia seeds to beverages. Any walk through a natural food store will reveal many different beverages that chia seeds can be added to. One particularly popular beverage, called Kombucha, can be purchased with chia seeds already added. Chia seeds to not have to be in a liquid though; chia can be added ‘dry’ to food also! Add it to soups, salads, smoothies. Basically, anywhere you would typically sprinkle nuts or flax seed, you can add chia seeds.

Give it a try! It’s an easy way to add an extra punch of nutrition to your meals!
Photo Credit: swanksalot via Compfight cc