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After flax seeds the latest buzz is now around Chia seeds. What are these seeds? Thousands of years ago, chia seed was a staple in the diets of ancient Mayans and Aztecs. The word chia is derived from the Mayan language meaning ‘strength’. Today this tiny seed is a favorite of athletes, especially distance runners, who tout it as an endurance enhancing superfood.
Nutritional and health benefits:
Chia seeds are called super seeds because they deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories.The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and even protein!
With nearly 11 grams of fiber per ounce, Chia delivers 42% of your recommended daily value of fiber in a single serving. Fiber is good for weight loss and digestion.It helps slow digestion and makes you feel fuller by soaking up fluid and expanding in your digestive tract.
Chia is one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 in any food. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The best part about chia seeds is that you can add these tiny seeds to almost anything. I love adding it in my daily bran, salads, puddings and smoothies. An ounce of chia seeds on a daily basis is just about enough to get you those nutritional benefits.