Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. "Chia" means strength, and is traditionally used as an energy booster. Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on vegetables and salads or mixed into yogurt or smoothies. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel. Chia seeds are gluten free making them a perfect fibre source for our gluten intolerant customers :) .
What are the benefits of chia seeds?
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Chia seeds are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds' lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids -- specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. The omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.
Fiber: Fiber is associated with anti-inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, containing around 10 grams for every 2 tablespoons (It is recommended that we consume 25-30g of fiber per day).
Antioxidants: Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. Free radical damage is caused by environmental stimulants such as smoking, pollution and poor diet and has been linked to the development of cancer. Antioxidants are ranked due to their ORAC score meaning it Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. Therefore, antioxidants can literally absorb free radicals, making them a power anti-inflammatory and potent cancer preventative.
Minerals: Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the daily recommended intake for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight as they are important for energy metabolism and heart health.
So next time your in store, add a scoop of chia seeds to your bowl or smoothie as an easy and nutritious component to your meal.