We all remember those Chia Pets commercials from our childhoods. Nowadays however, “chia” is associated with chia seeds, and they are being hailed as a new superfood. It’s weird to think that a plant we used to use as a decoration would be good for us, but more and more evidence is proving that chia seeds are very healthy.
Chia seeds are small black seeds resembling mustard seeds or sesame seeds that are native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala. They have no taste, which makes them easy to use in a smoothie or toss over a cup of yogurt. Here are five fast facts about chia seeds that will get you on board with the “cha cha cha chia” bandwagon.
One ounce of chia seeds has only about 140 calories but packs a big nutritional punch. 11 grams of fiber, four grams of protein, 18% of your daily calcium intake and 30% of manganese, magnesium and phosphorous is in each serving.
There are a lot of omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats!) that make this seed a heart-healthy option to prevent cardiovascular disease. Chia seeds also help regulate blood sugar levels to help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Want to help prevent or take care of that Freshman 15? Since chia seeds are very high in both fiber and protein, it will keep you fuller for longer, helping aid in weight loss.
Help rid your body of free radicals (the stuff that ages you) with antioxidants. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants.
For all of those who follow a gluten-free diet, rejoice! Chia seeds contain no gluten and can be easily incorporated into meal plans.
Try adding chia seeds to your next cup of yogurt, cereal, smoothie or, if you’re feeling adventurous, pizza. You’ll start seeing the health benefits.