What are chia seeds?
Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family,Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
In the United States, the first substantial wave of chia seed sales came in the 1980s in the form of the Chia Pet.
Why chia seeds?
Fiber - 10 grams of fiber in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds is 1/3 of the recommended dailt amount of fiber.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Chia seeds are one of the richest plant-based sources of the fatty acids.
Antioxidants - Chia seeds last almost 2 years without refrigeration. This is mostly because they are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from aging and cancer.
Feel full faster - This helps reduce food cravings in between meals with the combination of protein, fiber, and the gelling effect chia seeds have when mixed with liquids
Vitamins & Minerals - calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium are important for maintaining a healthy weight, energy, metabolism, as well as prevent hypertension - and healthy amounts are all found in just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.
These are just 5 reasons I came across, but my research turned up several more health benefits of consuming chia seeds.
"Chia seeds have been in Whole Foods for a long time, but they're just now starting to grow in popularity," said Drew Rosen, nutrition and cooking teacher at New York City's Whole Foods Market Tribeca. "It's an ancient crop, but because the seeds are so flexible and high in omega threes, they are just blossoming all over the markets in all different types of products."
The results I found were enough to convince me . . .
I usually mix chia seeds into my smoothies, but they can be mixed into yogurt, salads, oatmeal, soup, and drinks.
I even put chia seeds on a piece of toast with some almond butter and banana slices...
And in my oatmeal with banana slices and almond butter...
Overall, this tiny seed, packs a big punch of nutritious benefits!
Have you tried chia seeds?
What's your favorite way to eat them?