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Super Food Spotlight: Chia Seeds

SUPER FOOD SPOTLIGHT: Chia Seeds - What are they and what are the health benefits of including them in your diet?

 

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are one of the most powerful superfoods in the world! The chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3. Everyone from children to senior citizens can benefit from the wonderful nutritional qualities of chia seeds.

Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, chia seeds were a component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors; they even played a role in religious ceremonies. 

Supposedly, 1 tablespoon of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions. It was a major crop in central and southern Mexico well into the 16th century, but it was banned after the Spanish conquest because of its association with the Aztec "pagan" religion. Over the past few decades, commercial production has resumed in Latin America.

Chia provides fiber (about 2 tablespoons--25 g--give you 7 g of fiber) as well as other important nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, and zinc.

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

1.Chia Seeds Are Nutritious
On top of the fact that chia seeds have more omega-3 than any
other natural source, they are loaded with antioxidants, calcium,
protein, fiber, and many other vitamins & minerals.

2.Chia Seeds Are Energizing
Not only do chia seeds give you a boost of energy that lasts,
they also provide stamina and endurance. A single tablespoon
could sustain Aztec warriors for an entire day.

3.Chia Seeds Reduce Cravings
Because chia seeds absorb so much water and have high soluble 
fiber levels, they help release natural, unrefined carbohydrate
energy slowly into the bloodstream.

4.Chia Seeds Are Easily Digestible
Unlike flax seed, chia seeds do not have to be ground up before
you ingest them. The human body can easily digest chia seeds, 
and with about 7 grams of fiber per serving, they actually help.

5.Chia Seeds Are Convenient & Versatile
You can eat chia seeds straight from the bag, mix them with your 
favorite drink, add them to your cereal or salad, and just about 
anything else. Chia seeds last for years so stock up now!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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