Chia Seed Superfood Power
Last summer, I went to the grocery store to load up on anti-cancer foods. I had just found out that my mother had a large brain tumor and would be having surgery to get it removed. Being the avid health nut, I headed to the store with a list in hand to get all the ingredients I needed to wage a war on this “cancer.” She was to be on a strict diet of certain foods, more than one containing my new favorite seed Chia.
These seeds are so super tiny it’s hard to imagine they are so powerful. But if research is true, chia seed was going to be one of the best additions to all the baked goods I was sending to my mom. It’s very easy to add it to cookies, muffins and salads.
- Chia seed comes from the desert plant salvia hispanica, native to parts of Central and South America.
- Evidence shows humans have used chia seeds as far back as 3500 B.C.
- Chia served as fuel for Aztec warriors before going into battle and Aztec messengers used it on their cross-empire journeys.
- Chia was thought to have magical powers due to the strength and energy it gave those that consumed it.
- Chia actually comes from the Aztec word chian, which means oily.
- More recently, chia earned the name “runner’s food” by powering the Tarahumara Indians on their legendary long distance runs, as written about in the New York Times best seller Born to Run.
- Although small, chia is packed with power; chia is the ultimate superfood.
Seven Chia Seed Benefits and Facts
Chia seeds are the world’s richest plant-based source of protein, omega-3 fatty acid and fiber. To put this into context, ounce for ounce, chia has more omega-3 than salmon, more protein than tofu, more calcium than milk, more fiber than oatmeal and more magnesium than broccoli.
- Omega-3: reduces inflammation, lowers bad cholesterol and improves brain function.
- Fiber: 11 grams of fiber per ounce of chia.
- Protein: plant-based, vegan protein.
- Minerals: high concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese, all necessary for important bodily functions.
- Satiation: absorbs 12 times its weight, leaving you feeling full and satisfied.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: helps regulate insulin levels.
- Gluten free: chia is a seed, void of gluten or grains.