Chia: The Tiny Seed That Packs A Big Punch

Chia seeds have become incredibly trendy in health conscious circles (and with good reason!) but they are far from being a new food staple. Chia seeds were originally cultivated by the Aztecs and are the tiny seed of the  Salvia Hispanica which is a member of the mint family. They are named for the  Nahuatl  word chian  meaning, "oily." When added to liquids, chia seeds produce a gel that can be extremely beneficial to your health. inpost3 Here are just a few reasons your might consider adding chia to your diet:

1. Chia seeds are a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids

While not as potent as the  EPA and DHA found in fish and grass-fed beef, chia seeds do contain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), that can be beneficial to your health. ALA is considered a heart healthy nutrient with studies showing that it can help fight heart disease. It may not be as potent as the omegas found in salmon but gram for gram, chia beats salmon! So, if you don't like fish, you're in luck!

2. Chia seeds are a great source of protein

By weight, chia is about 11% protein which is incredible for a plant source! They also contain a lot of the essential amino acids which means they are extremely beneficial to vegetarians and vegans. Chia seeds rank right up there with quinoa as being wonderful plant based protein sources! [bctt tweet="Chia: The Tiny Seed That Packs A Big Punch"] abs

3. Chia seeds are packed with nutrients

A 2 tablespoon (1 ounce) serving of chia seeds contains: - 11 grams of fiber - 4 grams of protein - 5 grams of omega 3 - 18 per cent of the RDA for calcium - 30 per cent of the RDA for manganese - 27 per cent of the RDA for phosphorus - zinc - Vitamin B1, B2 and B3 - potassium A "superfood?" Sure looks that way!

4. Chia seeds are high in fiber

Chia seeds contain carbohydrates, but around 95% of that is in the form of fiber. This carb source won't impact insulin levels the same way a starch would so it is useful in keeping blood sugar stable. This fiber is also useful in the maintenance of healthy gut bacteria, it aides digestion and absorption while making you feel fuller, longer. abs

5. Chia seeds may help you lose weight

Because they are high in both protein and fiber, chia may help you keep your diet on track. Fiber slows digestion and helps your belly stay feeling full. Protein also makes you feel full while providing your body with the tools it needs to repair and rebuild your muscle tissue after crushing your Bootcamp session or DailyHIIT Show workout! Trust us, this is a winning combination. Being full and satisfied means you won't be running for the office vending machine to get through your afternoon. No extra snacking means calories saved!

6. Chia seeds can help people with type-2 diabetes

The high fiber and protein content in chia helps stabilize blood sugar levels which is extremely important for type-2 diabetics! Recent research has also found that chia has the ability to improve blood pressure in diabetics as well. There you have it, major health boost from a tiny little seed! Chia seeds make an easy addition to some of the things you are already eating like smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, salads and soups. They are relatively flavorless so you can add them without changing the taste of your dishes. They also make a really great pudding. Add a few tables spoons to some almond milk with a dollop of honey, cover and leave in the fridge overnight and you're set! For recipes that incorporate chia seeds, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan! Are you convinced? Will you be adding chia seeds to your diet?

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