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By Janet Fontana

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

My friend Amy had been encouraging me to try chia seeds, but it wasn’t until I noticed how good her skin looked that I took her seriously. When we recently went out to dinner together, she looked great and the skin around her eyes was smoother. By the way, Amy is in her 50′s.

So I asked her, “What are you using for skin care products or is it all those chia seeds that are making your skin look so good?” Amy said, “That’s funny – the other day a friend at work complimented me about my skin too!  I really do think it is the chia seeds!”

Now, I can’t say for sure if chia seeds will give you the same results, but I can tell you that I started eating chia seeds! Read on to learn more about chia seeds and their benefits.

The Ins and Outs of Chia

History indicates that chia seeds were first grown in Mexico, Latin America, and the American Southwest around 3500 B.C. After discovering chia’s ability to increase energy, stamina, and endurance over long periods, the Mayans started incorporating the seeds into their diet on a regular basis. During this time, chia seeds were thought to be so magical by the Mayan people that they became a staple for religious offering. Unfortunately, the popularity of chia seeds diminished after the farming of many native foods became prohibited during the Spanish conquest of Latin America.

In recent years, however, chia seeds have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity. As modern-day doctors, scientists, and nutritionists look for more natural health solutions, chia seeds are finally back on the map as a super food. According to Dr. Oz, chia seeds are considered super because “they deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories.”

Top Five Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds

1) They’re Nutritious

Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Not only are they packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they’re also a natural anti-inflammatory and a great source of fiber and protein. The oil in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contains more omega-3 than salmon and more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. Research also shows that chia seeds improve hydration levels, promote stable blood sugar, lower cholesterol and balance electrolytes within the body.

2) They’ll Give You Energy

More and more athletes have started eating chia seeds because of their incredible ability to sustain energy for long periods. The high levels of iron found in chia seeds helps to efficiently transport oxygen in the body. This makes it possible for our body to maintain energy and minimize fatigue. If one tablespoon could sustain an Aztec warrior all day, it will for you too!

3) They’re Easily Digestible

Chia seeds are high in fiber and have hydrophilic colloidal properties which make them easy to digest. The mucilloid gel coating that forms when the seeds are ingested not only helps the body absorb and retain water, but also cleanse and soothe the colon. Even doctors have started using them to treat bowel cancers, diverticulitis, constipation, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

4) They’ll Reduce Cravings

Did you know that chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their own weight? Because of their high levels of soluble fiber and their impressive ability to absorb water, carbohydrates are slowly released into the bloodstream and converted to glucose. This keeps you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time without the added calories.

5) They’re Convenient, Cheap & Versatile

Chia seeds are actually easy to find and quite budget-friendly. A typical 1 lb bag of black chia seeds should only run you about $5. They can also be eaten a variety of ways, making it effortless for you to get your daily fix.

How You Can Incorporate Chia in Your Diet

Chia seeds have a very subtle taste which makes it fairly easy to incorporate them to most foods and drinks. You can add them to your juice, salad dressing, yogurt, smoothie and soup, or you can eat them on their own. With just a tablespoon a day, you will soon start to notice the great benefits chia seeds have to offer!

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About

Janet Fontana, the founder of Spectrum LifeWorks, on wellness, nursing, and life.

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