The benefits of chia seeds

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Published March 18, 2012

| EmpowHER

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed a little thing called the chia seed popping up more and more around the health food store.

So what exactly is the chia seed? What does it do and why is gaining popularity?

This little whole grain is an ancient health food that was used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a main energy source. After the Spanish conquest of Latin America, chia seeds became a taboo food, prohibited for consumption under the new rule.

With more research and growing health concerns in this day and age, chia seeds have made their comeback.

So what makes this new super food so special?

They deliver a maximum amount of nutrients for just a small caloric price.

Fiber
As a dietary necessity that many Americans can’t seem to get enough of, chia seeds offer 11 grams of fiber per ounce. This is about 41 percent of the recommended daily value in just one serving.

Omega Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are known as “essential fatty acids,” because they are essential to our health, yet our bodies cannot produce them on their own. We must obtain our omegas through food sources. If you’re not a fish-eater, omegas can be difficult to get. Chia seeds pack a punch of omega-3s and omega-6s.

Calcium
These little seeds offer anywhere from three to six times more calcium than milk, per serving. With a growing number of women suffering from osteoporosis, this is an important nutrient to help build strong bones and prevent injuries in the future.

Antioxidants
Super important for protecting our bodies against free radicals, antioxidants are another nutrient that you can count on chia seeds for.

Protein
The chia seed is a complete protein. According to Chiaseedssuperfood.com, “It includes all essential amino acids such as leucine, lysine, isoleucine, methionine, threonine, valine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine. The powerful combination of these amino acids will allow you to perform better during your training sessions and help you build more muscles faster.”

Chia seeds are a wonderful source of nutrients that can easily be incorporated into your diet with little effort. I recently had a chia Kombucha from the health food store and enjoyed the unique texture and filling fiber. Add to smoothies, cereals, or in baked goods, or find a new recipe online. The possibilities are endless.

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http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/03/15/benefits-chia-seeds/