Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may be familiar with the name as an ancient staple for the Aztec and Mayan diets, or much more likely, as a popular novelty item, the Chia Pet.
Chia seeds have long been known to have an abundance of essential nutrients. Here is a break down:
1. They are an excellent source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 tablespoons. Fiber is associated with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and regulating bowel function.
2. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids
3. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer.
4. Chia seeds have one of the highest levels of antioxidants in a whole food.
5. Chia is a wonderful source for calcium. Three tablespoons contains 307 milligrams of calcium.
6. Chia seed is easily digested and does not need to be ground.
7. Chia seeds are often recommended for diabetics because the balance of soluble and insoluble fiber slows the absorption of glucose.
I also love Chia seeds because they make a great substitute for egg in vegan cooking or baking. Just add 1 Tablespoon of Chia seeds to 3 Tablespoons of water. In about 20 minutes, it will turn into a gel equivalent to one egg. Also, because it’s nutritional profile and stability, Chia seeds will store up to two years in a dry place. Use in baking, add to smoothies, or try this great pudding. Injoy!