Guest Post by: Sasha de Beaussett, B.A., M.Sc.
Those little black and white seeds known as chia can’t really be all that powerful, can they? How it is possible to pack so much punch into each and every little seed?
If you haven’t heard about chia seeds (aside from the famous chia pets), then you are behind the times. While it has only recently gained popularity as a superfood to be added to smoothies and granola bars, Chia has been around for centuries. It was used by the Aztec and Mayan cultures of Latin America as an energy booster, and fast forward a few hundred years later it’s now added to lemonade and other drinks to give a sensation of freshness where ice isn´t easy to come by.
Chia’s scientific name is Salvia hispánica, but it also goes by the name “chan” in some Central American countries. When submerged in liquids, a gel forms around the seed, giving it a uniquely surprising mouth feel and texture.
Why has chia suddenly gained so much popularity? The answer is because it has a range of benefits packed into this tiny seed. Below are three surprisingly super benefits of chia.
1. Chia is packed with fiber
Dietary fiber is important for gut and heart health, as well as for helping to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases. The recommendation for your daily intake of dietary fiber is about 25 grams if you are woman under 50 and 30 grams if you are a man under 50. One ounce of chia has a whopping 10 grams of fiber, which is about two-thirds the daily recommendation for women!
If you get enough fiber regularly, research suggests that it will help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
2. High in healthy fats
Chia is a great source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep your heart, brain and eyes healthy, while also supporting a healthy weight. Omega fatty acids are believed to help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and support gut flora, contributing to healthy digestion and regularity.
3. Energy booster
The Aztecs were right! Chia is a great energy booster. It is high in complex carbohydrates, which assist in a slow release of energy over time, rather than an energy peak and crash. Additionally, one ounce of chia has 4 grams of protein, which will also support you in maintaining muscles healthy while you exercise.
Now that you know some of the reasons why chia is so popular, go ahead and give it a try! You can try making chia pudding by soaking it in almond milk overnight, put some in your favorite protein pancake or waffle recipe, or add it to soups and salads as a topping. It has a very mild, nutty taste, so it is easy to integrate into hundreds of recipes.
If you’re interested in using chia to support digestive health, you can try it in The Natural Citizen’s Organic Digest blend. This naturally delicious blend of gut-loving ingredients can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, cookies – or just about anything. In addition to chia seeds, it has a perfectly balanced blend of soluble and insoluble fibers plus the soothing support of Aloe vera. Every ingredient in Organic Digest was carefully chosen to serve a specific purpose in nourishing the digestive tract, and all 4 ingredients work together synergistically to support healthy digestion and daily regularity.*
The bottom line, chia isn’t just for chia pets anymore!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.