These little guys are a delicious ancient Superfood that may be easily incorporated into your diet. They were a staple food for the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs. The Tarahumara Indians consumed chia seeds on their desert runs and even used them as a currency (and by desert runs, I’m talking hundreds of miles a day without rest or injury). It’s said that 1 tablespoon of chia seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. These teeny tiny little seeds not only helps hydrate the body but also give it a boost of energy…goodbye pick-me-up lattes!!
Fun fact: Chia plants are members of the mint family!
10 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds:
“Chia” in the Mayan culture was known to mean strength. They fuel us with energy, endurance (athletes have said it helps them endure longer), and of course, strength!
They deserve a high-five for fiber! Only 2 tablespoons of chia seeds have 7 grams of fiber. The fiber and the gel-like consistency of soaked chia seeds absorb toxins in the body and help clear the digestive tract.
They are a complete source of protein (meaning they contain all the essential amino acids that must be obtained by diet alone).
Chia seeds stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the process of digestion and breaking down complex carbs–making them an especially beneficial for those with diabetes. In fact, patients who have suffered from diabetes have reported reduced joint pain and inflammation.
It is also one of the highest known plant sources of omega-3 and omega-6 (which helps with brain function).
It has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease pain, lubricate joints, and reduce inflammation.
It helps us lose weight and detox (removing toxins) our body as the essential fatty acids boost our metabolism.
Chia seeds have a very high count of antioxidants (3 x’s more than in blueberries)!
They contain calcium, boron (which helps the bones absorb the calcium), B vitamins, zinc, copper, iron (3 x’s more than spinach), potassium, phosphorus, and niacin.
They’re so fun to bite into when in gel form–very much like tapioca.
How to Use Chia Seeds:
In order to reap the full benefits, you must soak the chia seeds in water, almond milk, or your choice of liquid to allow for easier digestion. When soaked, chia seeds form into a gel. Feel free to use this gel in various desserts, smoothies, or just to have on its own. It can thicken up smoothies or may be blended with some fruit and refrigerated overnight for a oatmeal-consistency parfait…yum!
In Mexico, it’s popular to add chia seeds to lemon or lime water and add a touch of honey.
I love to just add it to water through the day or to my morning green smoothie. It has a slight nutty flavor on its own but adapts to virtually any flavor it’s mixed with.
I’d love to hear your favorite way to eat Chia Seeds!
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