Chia, or saliva hispanica, is an herb with growing popularity. A member of the mint family, this tiny plant is loaded with nutrition, especially when it comes to the seed of the plant.
Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain a whopping 138 calories, including 10 grams of fiber and relatively large amounts of protein and calcium.
These seeds also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with positive results in the areas of weight management and disease prevention(1).
Chia seeds have a long and distinguished history of being used by indigenous civilizations in Mexico for their nutritional value.
Having been cultivated for thousands of years – since pre-Columbian times – chia seeds have been used in the making of flour, beverages, and other foods(2).
Packed With Nutrition
Chia seeds are loaded with protein, which makes them a great staple food for those following a vegetarian diet.
One small serving – just 3 tablespoons – contains approximately 10% of your daily recommended intake of protein.
Two tablespoons or one ounce of chia seeds (28g) contains 18% of the RDI for calcium, 27% for phosphorus, 30% for magnesium and about 30% for manganese. These vital nutrients can help to prevent hypertension, maintain a healthy weight, keep energy levels up, and boost metabolism.
Chia seeds are also high in fiber, which is essential for promoting healthy bowel function and preventing certain types of cancer(4).
In addition to being gluten free – perfect for individuals with Celiac’s disease, or who are sticking to a gluten-free diet for other reasons – chia seeds are full of antioxidants, which combat age-related diseases(5).