Chia seeds are the edible seeds that produce the chia plant (Salvia Hispanica). The chia plant is native to Mexico and is part of the mint family. Traditionally, chia seed uses have been for medicinal and nutritional purposes in the Aztec and Mayan cultures. Ancient Aztec warriors used chia seeds to help increase strength and energy for battle.1 2 3 Chia seeds are convenient to store because they don’t need to be refrigerated and last up to two years before spoiling. Chia seeds also don’t need to be ground, but instead can be eaten whole. Chia seeds can be ingested raw or after soaking them in water. When chia seeds are left to soak in water, they expand and form a gel substance. Soaking them is believed to make them easier to digest and potentially provide greater nutritional value.2 3
Chia seeds health benefits are numerous because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.3 They also contain protein, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc, among other important vitamins and minerals.2 3 Because of their high nutritional value, chia seed health benefits include:
Chia seed uses include the prevention and treatment of the following conditions:
Chia seed side effects are very limited. Some people may experience chia seed side effects such as stomach discomfort when consumed in high amounts.2
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