In ancient Aztec culture, chia seeds were a dietary staple as well as a valuable currency. They were carried by Aztec warriors for energy and endurance and it’s said that one teaspoon fueled them for the entire day.
Chia seeds have a natural gel forming property which allows them to absorb up to 12 times their volume in water. If you mix a spoonful of chia seeds in a glass of water and let it stand for 30 minutes, the glass will contain a very thick gelatin. This is due to the high amount of soluble fiber in chia, which has one gram per tablespoon in addition to 4 grams of insoluble fiber.
The soluble fiber in chia seeds slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and their breakdown into sugar, keeping the blood sugar stable and helping to control or prevent diabetes. It also helps to rid the body of excess estrogens.
Weight Loss and Chia By absorbing water and expanding, chia seeds contribute to a feeling of fullness which keeps appetite down and aids in controlling weight. The seeds also create bulk and improve elimination, keeping you regular.
But it doesn’t stop there. Chia seeds also support bone health. One tablespoon contains 60 mg of calcium which is great, but even better, it provides the trace mineral boron, another catalyst for the absorption and utilization of calcium by the body.
You can add a tablespoon of chia seeds to your smoothie but drink it right away before the gel-producing qualities make it too thick to drink. Also sprinkle it on yogurt, cereal, oatmeal or salads. Chia seeds are gluten-free and you can also add them to pancakes, muffins, breads or other baked goods. When buying chia seeds make sure you get the organic versions. Navitas is a reliable brand and you can find them in health food stores, Whole Foods Markets and also on-line at Amazon.com.