The New Superfood: Chia Seed

Originally grown in Mexico, the Salvia hispanica or Chia plant, a species in the mint family, were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. Its seed is nutrient dense and packs a punch of energy boost power. So powerful that Aztec warriors actually ate these to give them high energy and endurance. Just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours.

Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and were known as “runner foods” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.

Though these ancient cultures may not have completely understood the nutritional breakdown of these power-packed seeds, they noticed the benefits and we know that chia seeds are a good source of:
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Protein
  • Vitamins A, B, E and D
  • Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium manganese niacin, thiamine and others
  • Antioxidants

Serving of Chia seeds is also reported to have:
  • As much calcium as a glass of milk
  • More Omega-3s as a serving of walnuts
  • As many antioxidants as blueberries.

They can give you tons of energy yet they won’t keep you awake at night and are supposed to be great for weight loss due to its ability to absorb many times their size/weight in liquid. They are great for avoiding dehydration during exercise or exposure to the heat and can also be a substitute for energy drinks.

However, there are some cautions when taking in large amounts of Chia seeds since some people experience gastrointestinal distress, especially when consumed dry. Since they are hydrophilic, they will attract water in your body. Chia seeds are never recommended to be consumed dry so the best way to prepare them is by soaking, like adding them into drinks.

Source: Wellness Mama | Dr. Axe

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