Chia seeds seem to be popping up in every grocery store, and on the menu of every hot brunch spot. What ARE they though? Are they even good for you? If you plant them will they grow into Shrek's hair? (Answer: Yes, Chia Pets use the same chia seeds, for real!)
Chia seeds, which are native to Central America, have long been touted as a superfood. They can be made into pudding, blended into smoothies or oatmeal, and even baked into bread! Not only are they versatile, but they're chock full of health. Are you wondering why so many people are obsessed with the seeds?
For a variety of reasons like -
They're SUPER high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants basically make the impossible possible: they slow down aging signs, resulting in younger looking skin, healthier hair, and can even reduce the risk of cancer. Basically fountain of youth/miracle molecules.
They've got an impressive amount of fiber.
Almost all the carbs in chia seeds are actually fiber. This means so many good things. 1. You'll stay full longer. 2. It will aid in keeping your gut health in check. 3. You'll be regular! Being regular is the best!
They're a rare source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are SUPER important. They have a wide range of benefits, from fighting depression, to improving sleep, to reducing the risk of heart disease. The bummer is, there aren't very many foods that supply omega-3s. There's really just fish, walnuts, and flax seeds. Over half of chia seed's fat is omega-3s, making it an excellent choice for all omega-related health.
They've got protein!
For people that don't eat meat, finding foods with protein can be a drag. Don't worry, chia seeds TO THE RESCUE! There's 4 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. Pair that with peanut butter on oats and you've got enough energy to last you well past lunch.
Need calcium? Chia's got it!
Believe it or not, chia seeds have more calcium ounce for ounce than most dairy products. If you don't eat dairy, this could be a life-changer. If you DO eat dairy, pair it with yogurt for a healthy dose of the good stuff.