From our friends at World Wellness Education (article written by Jean Sumner)
How many of you remember the chia pet? You may even remember the jingle the company used “cha cha cha chia”! The seed that grow so quickly into these interesting pets is the chia seed. This seed was a staple food in the diet of the Aztecs and Mayans. These people would grind the seeds into flour, press the seeds into oil and drink the seeds with water. However, when the Spanish arrived in the “new world”, they prohibited the use of chia seeds. Hence this super food was almost lost to civilization, but it has been rediscovered!Y
You need to purchase chia seeds and start incorporating them into your diet! You can add them to smoothies, salads, drinks, soups and cereals. You can also find recipes that include these seeds on the internet. Chia seeds deliver the maximum amount of nutrients for a minimum number of calories. These nutrient dense seeds provide fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants, potassium, iron and protein.
Fiber Chia seeds provide 11 grams of fiber per ounce; this is close to 50% of the daily requirement for fiber. This seed is high in soluble fiber which slows down the conversion of carbohydrates to blood sugar. This eliminates spikes in blood sugar. The soluble fiber also helps to lower cholesterol.
Calcium Eighteen percent of the recommended daily allowance of calcium is provided by one ounce of chia seeds. These seeds have three to six times more calcium than milk. Plus they contain boron which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones.
Antioxidants Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Blueberries are heralded as being high in antioxidants but chia seeds contain three times more antioxidants than blueberries.
Potassium These seeds contain two times the amount of potassium as bananas.
Iron Chia seeds contain three times more iron than spinach.
Protein These seeds are a complete protein and include all of the essential amino acids. They also contain two times the protein of any other seed or grain.
Chia seeds can help with weight management since they absorb 12 times their weight in water which helps to curb your appetite.
The nutrients in Chia seeds will energize you quickly but also give you endurance. These seeds have been called Runners Food; they were used by the Aztecs for long distance running and endurance events.