You may have heard about chia pets, the adorable children’s toy made from sprouted seeds. These beloved toys are actually powered by chia seeds, which give them lush green hair. Surprisingly enough, the seeds have grown popular over the last few years for their overwhelming amount of healthy compounds.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are little black seeds commonly found in health food stores. The seeds originate from Mexico, although Aztecs, Mayans, Incans and Native Americans commonly consumed the seed throughout Central and South America (1).
The name “chia” is said to come from the Mayan word for strength. The seeds are harvested from a plant formally known as Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family (2).
Why Should You Eat Chia Seeds?
The seeds contain 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon of whole seeds. This fiber bulks up your stool, helps digestion and helps you feel more full (3). They are also chock-full of omega-3, manganese, phosphorus and protein (4).
Controls Blood Sugar
Chia gel is often used in desserts to slow the digestion of sugars by creating a barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes. This results in a steady release of energy instead of sugar highs and crashes, which is particularly helpful for diabetics. Try it in pudding or fruit yogurt !
Keeps you Hydrated
Because chia seeds can absorb so much water, they help your body retain water and electrolytes, which is great for athletes and active children. If you’re going to be speding a day out in the sun, have some chia gel at breakfast and drink plenty of water to keep you safe from heat stroke.
Easy to Digest
Chis seeds are easily digested and absorbed by your digestive tract. Most of ther nutrients they contain are water-soluble, so soaked seeds are even easier for your body to process.
Cleans your Intestines
Chia seeds bulk up stool sweep through your digestive tract to clear away any old debris. It also helps dislodge anything that may be stuck along the way. In fact, chia is often used to keep patient regular and prevent constipation.
Chia seeds are well-priced for what they contain. A 1lb bags costs roughly $8-10 and 2 ounces of dry chia seeds makes about 17 ounces of gel. That’s 1$ per 17 ounces of gel, which typically lasts 4 days. No other superfood costs so little.