A true superfood, Chia Seeds were once a major staple crop of the Aztecs, revered as a nutrient-dense source of fuel for their long-distance messengers, who traveled great distances carrying only a small pouch of Chia for their daily nutrition. Today, science is revealing the secrets behind this ancient wisdom.
Incredibly rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and minerals, the tiny Chia seed is an incredible nutritional powerhouse. Chia seeds contain more anti-inflammatory, brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds, and they're also a dense source of crucial minerals, with more calcium than milk, more potassium than bananas, and more iron than spinach. Not only that, they're loaded with cell-protecting antioxidants.
To top it all off, when added to water, Chia Seeds form a gel (almost like a tapioca) perfect for vegan puddings and to thicken smoothies. This gel also happens to shield the body from absorbing sugars too quickly, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and create long-lasting sustainable energy.
Mix chia in water with lemon or lime juice and a little coconut sugar to make the classic Mexican drink known as "chia fresca." Or simply blend a few spoonfuls into your morning smoothie, tea, or oatmeal. Chia can also be ground into flour and added to baking recipes.
Only ELF guarantees a premium quality chia seed with optimal nutritional benefit and social impact. Our farmers are paid fair prices for their work, which not only creates a positive impact in their lives, but also ensures that growing conditions and soil quality are carefully maintained and monitored in order to ensure the highest quality chia seeds. Many chia sellers are scrambling to meet rising demand and harvest their seeds as early as possible to maximize turnover. Chia seeds that are allowed to mature fully, like ours, contain higher levels of antioxidants and omega 3 oils.
Pound for pound, Chia stacks up very well against other foods:
• 3x's more Omega-3 than salmon
• 2x's more Protein than any other seed or grain
• 5x's more Calcium than milk
• 2x's more Potassium than bananas
• 3x's more Iron than spinach
• 4x's more Fiber than flax
• 30% more cell-protecting antioxidants than blueberries
• 15x's more Magnesium than broccoli
Chia's high omega 3 content is important for anyone hoping to prevent the onset of cardiovascular, circulatory, or neurological diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory nutrients that are crucial to proper brain function and development. Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, as well as protecting brain cells from progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Chia is one of the richest vegetable sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids (even richer than flax), with a perfect 3-to-1 balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6. Average diets contain far too much Omega 6, with almost no Omega 3 (which is most commonly found in seafood, which is increasingly hard on our oceans and loaded with toxins). Adding Chia Seeds to your diet (and reducing sources of omega 6 oils) can tip the balance back toward health.
VITAMINS, MINERALS, PROTEIN, ANTIOXIDANTS
Chia seeds provide 20% protein, 34% oil, 25% dietary fiber, and significant levels of antioxidants (chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols).
Chia seeds also provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc, and are also high in Boron, a mineral needed to digest calcium for increased bone strength. Much of our country's soil is depleted of boron, meaning we need supplemental sources. Boron aids the metabolism of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus in bones and for muscle growth, and can also help stabilize estrogen levels in older women.
Chia seeds also contain large amounts of B vitamins and calcium. By volume, one ounce of chia contains two percent B-2 (riboflavin), 13 percent niacin, and 29 percent thiamin, and trace amounts of all B vitamins.
In addition to its Omega 3 content, chia contains three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains -- oils that human body needs to emulsify and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.
Unlike flax, chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. Also unlike flax, chia does not have to be ground to make its nutrients bioavailable.
CHIA "GEL": BLOOD SUGAR & WEIGHT LOSS
Studies also show that eating chia seed slows down our body's conversion of carbohydrate into simple sugars. When you soak chia in water (or consume it in your smoothie) the seeds swell and form a clear gel (caused by chia's high soluble fiber content). This gel creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this also helps to create a slow-burn or timed-release of carbohydrate for sustainable energy, diminishing the highs and lows we can feel after consuming sugars or simple carbohydrates. This makes Chia perfect for helping to control weight: mixed with orange or other fruit juice, the gel-like seeds make a nutritious breakfast that leaves one feeling full and without hunger until noon.