It’s almost impossible to talk about chia seeds without getting the catchy 80s jingle stuck in your head. These days you hear about chia all the time, but it has nothing to do with the beloved green ‘pet that grows’. So what’s the fuss about? What are the health benefits of chia seeds and what exactly are they?
Chia is ancient superfood dating back to the Aztecs and Mayans. The word “chia” comes from the Mayan word “strength”, which is quite fitting considering the Mayans believed a single tablespoon of chia seeds could sustain a warrior for a full day. The edible seeds are packed with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber. A single ounce of chia seeds contains 137 calories, a whopping 11 grams of fiber, and 18% of the recommended amount of calcium. [Source.]
Perhaps the coolest thing about chia seeds is that they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. When chia seeds are combined with water it makes a gelatinous mixture that can be used as a binder in place of eggs in baked goods, used to thicken dairy-free pudding or smoothies, or used as an energy gel or drink. Chia seeds can also aid with weight loss as they soak absorb liquid in your digestive system, expanding to make you feel fuller. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground to be absorbed by the body.
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