Ask the Expert – Erin Holt – September
Q: I have been hearing a lot of buzz about chia seeds lately. Can you tell me what the hype is all about?
A: Chia is one of the most powerful and nutrient dense superfoods in the world. Chia seeds were a mainstay in Mayan and Aztec diets and are emerging again due to their incredible health benefits. Below are a few reasons why chia seeds are a staple of my own diet and active lifestyle.
Nutritional facts about chia seeds:
- The chia seed is an exceptionally nutritious food packed with high levels of bioavailable (easily digested) omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, and much more.
- Chia seeds are slimming! The unique gelling action of their mucilaginous fiber keeps you pleasantly full for hours while the fiber keeps the digestive tract functioning at an optimal level. With proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, we sleep better, shed unnecessary weight, and feel physically and emotionally lighter, partly because we are not weighed down by undigested food in the colon.
- Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants that help prevent infections and boost immunity.
- Chia seeds have a very mild flavor so they can be paired with tastes your palate enjoys, whether smoothies, salads, sauces, etc.
- Each seed soaks up to ten times its weight, so when inside your body, the seeds help you stay hydrated longer and retain electrolytes.
- Also known as the “Indian running food,” chia seeds enhance endurance and have been used by indigenous cultures for centuries.
- They’re regenerating!Due to the ease in digestion and assimilation, their nutrients travel very quickly to our cells to help replenish and repair them.
More than just hype, these seemingly simple seeds are the real deal and can be purchased prepacked or in bulk at local health and nutrition stores such as Whole Foods, Lazy Acres, and Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins.
A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and TPI fitness professional,Erin Desharnaisalso holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of New Hampshire.