3 Reasons to Try Chia Seeds

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

chiaOnce known for a catchy tune and a popular commercial product, chia is making a comeback... but as a superfood. Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family called Salvia hispanica and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds were considered a staple food of the Aztec cultures, who would say that one small serving was all a man needed to run for a day. Chia is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Here are three other reasons to try this nutty-flavored seed. 1. Balance sugar levels: Studies have shown chia to be of benefit in controlling type 2 diabetes. As a high source of fiber, it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin release by slowing digestion and therefore preventing the sugar "spikes" that are common after meals. 2. Weight loss: There is also evidence that chia, in conjunction with exercise, aids in weight loss, as it keeps individuals feeling satisfied longer and therefore decreases total caloric consumption. 3. Decrease inflammation: Chia seeds have also been shown to reduce inflammation (it decrease C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in our blood) and decrease blood pressure. It also has blood-thinning effects, making it useful in the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attacks. Chia seeds can be consumed whole in seed form, ground and added to baking, or sprouted and used in salads and sandwiches. Mix a spoonful in a glass of water and add lime juice and sweetening to make a drink known as "chia fresca," which is popular in Mexico. Photo from here, with thanks.