Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is related to the mint.
Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day.
They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy. In fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”
Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, chia seeds became recognized as a modern-day superfood only recently.
In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world.
Don’t be fooled by the size — these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch.
A 28 grams serving of chia seeds contains:
- Fibre: 11 grams.
- Protein: 4 grams.
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
- Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
- They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.
This is particularly impressive considering that this is just about two tablespoons. This small amount supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate.
This makes them one of the world’s best sources of several important nutrients, calorie for calorie.
To top things off, chia seeds are a whole-grain food, usually grown organically. Plus, they’re naturally free of gluten.
Chia seeds contain a rich concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eaten raw, they are loaded with essential fatty acids, with 30% of their fat coming from Omega-3 and 10% coming from Omega-6 – considered the perfect balance for healthy human tissue. Their soluble fibre forms a gel-like substance in the stomach when eaten, so chia seeds help slow the conversion of carbohydrates to sugars and prevent the absorption of some of the food consumed – promoting a sense of fullness, while helping control diabetes and weight.
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or you might like to sprinkle on your salad, add to baked goods, porridge, pancakes and granola. Chia seeds go undetected in a smoothie so a great way to boost omega’s for kids without them knowing!
And when added to liquids and left to gel, Chia can promote a feeling of fullness so good for weight control.
Have between 1 and 2 tbs per day