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Chia seeds: Ancient super food gets new life

Sure, chia seeds are a trendy superfood right now, but they have also been used by indigenous cultures for hundreds of years.

DENVER — We are entering the season of celebration which means lots of food and treats, and some potential unwanted side effects excess weight. But there is one superfood that can help you avoid the January blues – that food is chia seeds.

Some might think chia seeds are just a passing fad food but they’ve actually been cultivated for hundreds of years by indigenous cultures. Though they probably weren’t used the way they are now.

What makes chia seeds so great?

They have 2 grams of protein per serving and 5 grams of fiber. A serving is one tablespoon.

This makes it easy to control hunger cravings and fill up on quality protein and fiber.

It also contains several vitamins and minerals like potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

What makes chia seeds a superfood?

Chia seeds are plentiful in omega-3 fatty acids, precursors to DHA and EPA, which we know is good for our brains. And they contain a number of antioxidants that are good for your immune system, are anti-aging, and fight cancer.

And this is October which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so good food to keep in mind for that as well.

Besides cancer, are there other conditions which benefit from including chia seeds in your diet?

When chia seeds are combined with liquid, they make a slurry which coats the lining of the intestines, so it helps with digestive problems.

The fiber binds excess cholesterol and helps carry it out making it an excellent food for those with high blood pressure, helping to reduce heart disease.

Is there anything else we should know about chia seeds?

Chia seeds need to be mixed into a liquid. They cannot be eaten straight out of the bag like other seeds. Part of the issue is that they bulk up when combined with liquid and could cause an obstruction. But once they make that slurry they are perfectly safe.

How can one use chia in their cooking?

Chia seeds can be added to oatmeal (hot or cold), overnight oats, chia pudding, they can be added to soups, sauces, or smoothies, and they can be used as a binder in muffins, burgers, or meatballs. They’re versatile and they don’t change the flavor of the food they are added to.

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