What makes chia a superfood?
Chia is considered one of the “Superfoods”. According to experts like Diane Allen, MS, CNS, a health writer and holistic clinical nutritionist and author of the book Chia Seeds, superfoods offer more than functional foods. To quote Allen “they are nutrient-dense and packed with antioxidants and other powerful health-promoting substances. As a rule, one needs to eat only a small amount of a superfood to get a big benefit.”
Some of the key features of Chia include:
- Chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than any other natural source.
- Chia contains high amounts of antioxidants, calcium, protein, fibre as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
- Chia is very high in soluble fiber with approximately 10g per serving (2 tbsp.)
- Chia is energizing and stabilizes the blood sugar levels in the body. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing all work together to provide steady and sustained energy.
- Unlike flaxseeds, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.
- The outer layer of chia seeds swell when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can be used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- A study published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or "good" cholesterol.