then & now
Chia seeds are becoming readily available in grocery stores everywhere. I used to purchase them from specialty health stores or online, but I can find them pretty easily lately. You may know them from the very popular Chia Pets, but these seeds have high nutrition value and are a great addition to a healthy diet.
The Chia plant is part of the mint family and is native to Mexico and Guatemala and the seeds can be either black or white. They are used frequently in Mexico when mixed with lemon or lime juice and sugar, known as “chia fresca.”
the prettiest Chia Fresca i could find
The Ancient Seed * Chia seeds are an ancient seed, and were an important part of the Aztec and Mayan diet, and were used by Aztec warriors for sustainability. The word “chia” comes from the Mayan language and means ‘strength.’ Athletes have reported that chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for longer periods of time.
Essential Fatty Acids * The seeds are a balanced blend of protein, fats, fiber and carbohydrates. They also contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids. EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies so its significant that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems.
antioxidants * Chia seeds have more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high levels of antioxidants also keep them from going rancid, which allows for longer storage time.
Weight Loss/Management * The essential fatty acids in chia seeds help boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. They can be added to foods to provide bulk and nutrients while keeping the food low in calories.
Taste * Some say Chia seeds have a nutty flavor, but I don’t think they have any taste at all. That’s why I love adding them to foods or making pudding and adding cinnamon and other flavors.
Protein * Chia is a great alternative to soy for protein in a vegetarian diet. They contain all 9 amino acids in proper ratios to form a complete protein.
use and nutrition * Chia seeds can be added to cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, yogurt, and other foods or made into puddings and used in many recipes. Unlike flax seeds, they do not need to be ground in order for you to benefit and they are richer in Omega 3s than flax seeds. They’re easy and versatile, and have significant nutritional value.
1 ounce of chia seeds = approximately 2.75 tablespoons
- Calories – 138
- Fiber – 9.8 g
- Total Fat – 8.71 g
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – 5.1 g
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids – 0.66 g
- Saturated Fatty Acids – 0.94 g
- Calcium – 179 mg
- Magnesium – 95 mg
- Iron – 2.19 mg
- Zinc – 1.30 mg
- Niacin – 2.5 mg
- Folate – 14 mcg
- Vitamin A – 15 IU
- Protein – 4.4 g
How do you incorporate them into your diet?!