Adding new ingredients to your diet can be intimidating and confusing. Luckily, the latest nutrient-dense superfood du jour – chia seeds — can make a simple addition to any menu.
Where Do Chia Seeds Come From?
Chia is an ancient superfood that has increased in popularity due to its energizing and healthful properties. They come from a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family native to Latin America. In Mayan culture, the term “chia” means strength, and legend has it that Aztec runners would sustain themselves solely on water and these tiny chia seeds that they carried with them on long treks.
What Makes Chia Seeds So Healthy?
Chia seeds may be tiny but they pack a huge nutritional punch. One ounce of chia seeds, which is around 2 tablespoons, contains 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of essential omega 3 fatty acids. The complete protein found in chia seeds contains all nine essential amino acids. Diets rich in high fiber and high protein foods like chia seeds can help control cravings and aid in weight loss.
Chia seeds are also high in essential B vitamins, potassium, and zinc — all of which can help energize your body further to sustain you through a workout and a work day.
How Do You Ingest Chia Seeds?
When added to liquid, chia seeds expand up to ten times their size and become almost gelatinous in texture. They are tasteless which means they can be added to just about any food like smoothies, yogurt, salads, energy bars, and baked good. You can even add them to a bottle of water or iced tea to give your daily hydration an extra boost on the go.
Chia seeds are high in teeth-and-bone-building nutrients like calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorous. Gram for gram, chia is higher in calcium than most dairy products making it ideal for people avoiding dairy or sticking to a plant based diet.
At Organic Avenue you’ll find chia showcased in some of our customer favorites like the Matcha Chia Glo, an energizing and delicious green tea smoothie. The unexpected fun texture of chia seeds make this smoothie more satisfying and nutrient dense.
Our Chia Berry Tapioca mixes chia seeds with probiotic coconut yogurt and strawberry making it an energizing snack and a great source of healthy fats. Omega 3 fatty acids in the chia seeds can reduce inflammation while lauric acid found in the fat of coconut can increase your metabolism and help your body burn off stored fat.
Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from free radical damage. We use ground chia seeds in our Cashew Hemp Mylk, the base for many of our smoothies. We recommend adding some to your morning coffee to reap the delicious benefits of an antioxidant rich classic that will rev up your system in the morning.
There’s no need to fear this exotic superfood, it’s easy to add into any day. Whether you’re a newbie to healthy eating or a long time health fanatic, your body will appreciate the benefits of the nutritionally powerful chia.