For centuries, Native Indian Peoples in the Americas have used chia seed as a staple food. Aztec warriors subsisted on chia seeds during battles and hunting expeditions. Indians of the Southwest would eat as little as a teaspoon of chia seeds during a 24-hour march. Indians ran from the Colorado River to the Pacific Ocean to trade turquoise for shells, carrying only a pouch of chia seed for nourishment.
There are two colors of chia seeds, white and black. Some claim that the white seeds are more potent but this is not the case. Both types contain essentially the same amount of omega-3, protein, fiber, etc.
One ounce of Chia seed contains as much omega-3 as 8-ounces of salmon, as much calcium as a cup of milk, as much fiber as 1/3 cup of bran, as much iron as 1/3 cup of spinach leaves, as much vitamin C as 2 oranges, and as much potassium as half a banana.
COMPLETE PROTEIN SOURCE: Chia seed is a complete source of dietary protein providing all the essential amino acids. Compared to other seeds and grains, chia seed provides the highest source of protein: between 19 to 23 percent protein by weight.
ABSORB AND RETAIN WATER: One of the exceptional qualities unique to the chia seed is its ability to absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. This ability to hold water can prolong hydration and retain electrolytes in body fluids, especially during exertion. Normal fluid retention ensures normal electrolyte dispersion across cell membranes, maintains fluid balances, and aids normal cellular function.
GEL-FORMING PROPERTY: Chia seeds contain a mucilloid gel which protects the seed against drying in arid climates where the plants grow. When a spoonful of chia seed is mixed in a glass of water and left for 30 minutes, almost a solid gelatin will form. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the chia seeds. Researchers believe this same gel-forming phenomenon occurs in the stomach when foods containing these gummy fibers, know as mucilages, are eaten. The gel formed when chia seeds are eaten creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar and extending endurance.
BLOOD SUGAR REGULATOR: The gel forming property of chia seed tends to slow digestion and sustain balanced blood sugar levels, which can be helpful in preventing or controlling diabetes. Today, there is an incidence of diabetes among some Native American tribes of approximately 47%. Clinical studies show that when the Native Americans refrain from eating the "white man's diet" and return to their indigenous food (including chia seeds), they can control and even eliminate diabetes.
EASY TO DIGEST: The water absorption, bulking-agent property of chia seed is an important aid to human digestion. Whole, water-soaked chia seeds can be easily digested and absorbed. This results in rapid transport of chia nutrients to the tissue for use by the cells. This efficient assimilation makes chia seeds very effective when rapid development of tissue takes place, especially during growth periods of children and adolescents. Chia also facilitates the growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation, and aids regeneration of muscles for conditioning athletes and bodybuilders.
ESSENTIAL UNSATURATED OIL: Chia seed contains three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains. The unsaturated fatty acids in chia seed are essential oils the body needs to help emulsify and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Chia seeds are rich in the essential unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic, which the body cannot manufacture for respiration of vital organs, making it easier for blood to transport oxygen, help to regulate blood coagulation, are essential for normal glandular activity, and nourish skin cells, mucus membranes and nerves. Chia seeds contain beneficial long-chain triglycerides (LCT) in the right proportion to reduce cholesterol on arterial walls.
MINERAL RICH: Chia seed is a rich source of calcium and also contains boron, which acts a catalyst for the body to absorb and utilize the available calcium.
You can eat the seeds right from the container, grind them, roast them, bake them, or drop them into your drinks or smoothies and they retain their nutritional benefits. You can even use these to make some delicious chia pudding!
Raw Chia Seed*
Shelf Life: 2 years
Country of Origin: Bolivia, Paraguay or Mexico
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