Chia is an unprocessed and whole-grain black seed. It originally comes from Mexico and have been used since Mayan and Aztec times. Chia contains protein and provides sustainable energy.

Common complaints about Chia:

  • If enamel on teeth is worn off, or one has small gaps in teeth chia seeds can get stuck. So brush and floss well!
  • Slimy. Add to smoothies and blend well to lessen the slimy sensation.

Health Benefits

Chia Seeds Contain:

  • Fiber- One ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber. Fiber found in chia seeds is beneficial for the digestive system, regular bowel movements, and weight loss. It also maintains blood glucose levels in diabetics.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids- Omega-3s raise HDL cholesterol levels which protects the cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower LDL cholesterol, therefore decreasing arterial plaque buildup and blood pressure. In addition, omega-3s are an anti-inflammatory agent that can relieve joint swelling and pressure in those who have arthritis.
  • Antioxidants- protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals and can slow the aging process.
  • Calcium- There is more calcium in a serving of chia seeds than dairy. Calcium helps build strong bones and maintain teeth.

SELECTION & STORAGE

  • Can be found in grocery stores, usually in the bulk section.
  • Antioxidants in chia preserve the seeds, allowing for longer storage periods.

How to use

  • Chia seeds are nutty in flavor, and can be added to supplement foods in raw form.
  • Sprinkle raw chia seeds over yogurt, hot or cold cereals, and smoothies.
  • Chia seeds can even replace eggs in baking due to its gel-like consistency when water is added and allows it to be a binding agent.
  • Chia can also be made into pudding.

Risks

  • Do not eat large amounts of chia seeds raw. If you drink water after, the chia seeds could congeal and block the esophagus due to their ability to retain 27 times their weight in water.
  • Ask your doctor about adding chia seeds to your diet if you are on blood thinners or high blood pressure medications.

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