You can keep your kale, and flax, and goji berries; chia seeds are the hot new superfood.
Yes, chia, as in ch-ch-ch-Chia Pets ™, famous for stuttering infomercials that made a fad out of growing sprouts on ceramic doggies.
Chia seeds are making the leap from the healthy fringe into the mainstream.
Last year you had to look for them in health food stores. Now you’ll find them on the shelves of your local supermarket. They’re being added to frozen waffles, peanut butter, pasta, chips, and juice drinks, and companies like Dole are lacing entire product lines with chia seeds.
Why? Because chia seeds are unbelievably good for you.
Just look at this nutritional profile:
- A complete protein with more fiber content than bran
- Twice the omega-3 fatty acids as salmon
- Five times the amount of calcium in milk
- Three times the amount of antioxidants in blueberries
- Three times the amount of iron in spinach
- Three times the amount of fiber in oatmeal
- Two times the amount of potassium in a banana
Even among superfoods chia seeds are extraordinary.
Foods like pomegranates, almonds, goji berries, green tea, blueberries, and now chai seeds are considered ‘super’ because they pack a big nutrient punch in a small package. They’re dense sources of disease-fighting nutrients like antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, and are often thought to confer health benefits. Chia seeds are all of that plus they’re gluten-free, easy to digest, and rarely cause allergies.
Are you already thinking this is too good to be true? Hang on, there’s more.
Chia seeds can also help you lose weight. The seeds are like little sponges that sop up nine times their weight in liquid. When you eat cereal or muffins that are spiked with chia it does a bit of that inside you, so even your morning coffee can become one with a belly-filling, slow-burning ball of dietary fiber.
And the taste?
It’s fine. Really. The seeds have a tiny bit of crunch and a very subtle nutty flavor if you look hard enough for it. You’re not going to get excited about your morning chia, but it’s a perfectly neutral addition to just about anything.