Chia is a pest resistant seed discovered by the Mayan and Aztec Indians. The indians farmed chia because they were part of their staple diet when going off to war. One ounce of Chia seeds has 10.6 grams of fiber! Similar to the flaxseed, they are nutritional superstars. Both Chia and Flaxseed contain a significant amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Chia-4.9g/oz omega-3 fatty acid
- Flaxseed-6.3g/oz omega-3 fatty acids
Chia seeds do not need to be cooked, processed, or ground. They are eaten raw and great to toss in yogurt, salads, soups. You can also add them to your baked goods for an extra nutritional punch similar to nuts. They are mild in flavor so you do not have to worry about them changing the taste of what you are adding them to.
A little Chia science!
Chia is so high in fiber that when digested the chia seed turns into a gel. This gel is a soluble fiber called mucilage. This gel forms a barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes, slowing digestion. This slowed digestion helps to steady blood glucose levels helping to prevent drastic insulin spikes. Insulin spikes are known to trigger your body to store fat.
Endurance athletes have been adding chia seeds to their training formula for years. It is key to maintaining adequate hydration when training for extended periods of time. The chia seed can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water, helping to reduce the number of times you need to stop or slow for water breaks.
Pick up a package of chia seeds the next time you go shopping and give them a try! This will be one more positive step towards your whole health goal.