Have you heard all the buzz about chia seeds? Chia is in my granola snacks and teas as well as many other products I probably haven’t realized yet. I know two years ago if I was looking for chia seeds in my area I wouldn’t have found them. Actually the last ‘chia hit’ was probably when Chia Pets were a big seller. But now we are hearing more about the health benefits of chia seeds. Chia seeds are now considered super seeds because of their health benefits.
In Ancient times chia seeds were considered almost magical because they were able to increase stamina and energy over a long period of time. Aztec warriors us the seeds as a fuel before heading into battle.
So why are these seeds becoming popular now. Well lets take a look at America. We have on average 30% of the population is considered obese and that comes from out diet and lack of nutrients we are feeding our bodies. Chia seeds are very low in calories and are packed with nutrients which make them ‘super seeds’.
What are the health benefits?
- Dietary Fiber – 11 grams per ounce (over 40% of your recommended daily value)
- Omega 3&6 – 8 times as much Omega 3 as salmon (yes the Omega, aka Fish Oils)
- Calcium – 18% of your daily recommended value
- Antioxidants – the levels of antioxidants in chia seeds are about equal to the amount in dark berries
So let’s review. The importance of each of these benefits.
Fiber– Fiber tends to help in weight loss and has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Chia seeds are also easier to digest than flax seed.
Omega 3 &6 – Help your body reproduce cells as well as supporting your hearth health, lowering cholesterol, and reducing blood pressure. The omegas are the key nutrient for healthier skin, hair, and nails.
Calcium – The key to strong bones which we’ve all heard growing up, but calcium also helps fight stress.
Antioxidants – Reduces cell damage from free radicals. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress and is thought to play a role in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancers, Parkinson’s, and rheumatoid arthritis.