Chia is the highly nutritious seed of a desert plant called Salvia hispanica. An important part of the diet of ancient Aztecs and Mayans, chia seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the chances of developing heart disease, as well as vital minerals including phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. In fact, chia seeds contain 500% more calcium than milk, while one teaspoon provides 10% of our daily recommended dose
These simple little seeds are packed full of antioxidants, proteins (see below), Omega 3 fats, vitamins as well as minerals, all of which according to a new study, provide a performance boost on the same level as an energy drink. The research found that eating chia seeds enhanced exercise performance that lasted 90 minutes, in the same way a sports drink can, but minus the sugar! Amazing stuff and a great reason to make the switch. If you don’t eat many animal products, these seeds are an ideal source of protein, ensuring that you remain healthy.
Chia seeds are also full of antioxidants, which can help fight against molecule damage in your cells, fight off signs of ageing and even slow and prevent the development of some cancers. Blueberries are another good source of antioxidants, but for those who prefer nuts and seeds over fruits, largely for the convenience factor, you can count on chia seeds for a substantial antioxidant boost.
Studies have shown that chia seeds can help reduce bad cholesterol in the body, reduce inflammation in numerous areas in the body and lower blood pressure. All of these means your blood flow becomes healthier, and your heart is at less risk of suffering from disease or clots.
Chia has a nutty flavor – try sprinkling whole or ground seeds on cereal, yogurt or salads, or grind and mix them with flour when baking. Chia is undergoing a well-deserved renaissance and is widely available online and in natural food stores. Seek out organic versions and experiment on all kinds of foods – you’ll likely find it a tasty addition to your diet. You can count on them to help improve your general and metabolic health!