Chia

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day. There are a lot of nutritional benefits to Chia seeds, also knows as runners food, which may surprise you. The Aztecs and Tarahumara Indians in Central America were known for their legendary long-distance runs. Part of the Tarahumara’s secret was the Chia seed! Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They said just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language. Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern day superfood. In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world.

 

Chia Seeds are loaded with omega fats, protein, antioxidants and dietary fiber.

They have a mild nutty flavor, and since they absorb liquid, they’re ideal for hydration and feeling full.
Chia seeds are high in quality protein, much higher than most plant foods. Protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can drastically reduce appetite and cravings.
Chia seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein. All of these nutrients are essential for bone health.

To top things off, chia seeds are naturally free of gluten.

Chia seeds can be eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to porridges and puddings, or added to baked goods. You can also sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables or rice dishes. Because of their ability to absorb both water and fat, they can be used to thicken sauces and even used as egg substitutes in recipes. They can also be mixed with water and turned into a gel. Adding chia seeds to recipes will dramatically boost the nutritional value.

 

Nutrition facts: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

 

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