“Chi-chi-chi-chia!” Yes, this superfood is the same one you remember from those popular novelty planters of the 80s. Native tribes of Mexico and Central America have touted the “super” qualities of this tiny seed for centuries, but it’s only recently that chia, as a dietary powerhouse, has made it to the main stream. So, what can chia do for you? Discover tasty ways to add this superfood to your meal plan with some of our best chia recipes, and learn more about the health benefits of this healthful seed below.
For a complete list of superfoods, check out 50 Superfoods, the Ultimate Shopping List.
3 REASONS TO SING OUT FOR CHI-CHI-CHI-CHIA!:
1. Chia’s Great for Overall Health
One ounce of chia seeds contains 138 calories, 9.8 grams of fiber, 5.1 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids, 4 grams of protein, as well as a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and niacin. In addition, chia is an excellent source of antioxidants and amino acids. That’s a whole lot of nutrition packed into this tiny package. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, which help protect against inflammation and are important to a healthy heart.
2. Chia Offers Some Amazing Hydration Benefits
Chia is unlike other seeds because of its hydrophilic properties, or its ability to attract and absorb water. When soaked in water, a single chia seed is able to absorb up to 9 times its own weight in water! The seed becomes gel-like and is able to pass on its hydrophilic properties to the body. This allows you to stay hydrated longer during workouts.
3. Chia is Versatile
It’s easy to add chia to your everyday diet and benefit from its “superpowers”. Chia seeds can easily be sprinkled on salads, or in soups or stews. They can be ground into flour and used in baked goods. They can be used as an egg-substitute or a binder in vegan and gluten-free recipes. They can be blended into smoothies. Or, they can be turned into an energy-gel for your longer workouts. There’s no excuse not to take advantage of all chia has to offer.