Chia seeds are native to South America and have been a staple in Aztec and Mayan diets for centuries because of their amazing health benefits.  These tiny seeds are as small as a grain of sand yet they boast a nutty flavor and huge health benefits.

They are rich in polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds’ lipid profile is composed of 60 percent omega-3s, making them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids.  Omega-3s in chia seeds can help reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol.

Just two tablespoons contain one-third of the RDA of fiber.  Fiber is helpful with reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, regulating bowel function, preventing heart disease and stroke, weight management, regulating blood sugar and maintaining healthy skin.

Chia seeds are a rich source of antioxidants which help protect the body from free radical damage, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life-they last almost two years without refrigeration.

Chia seeds provide an ample amount of minerals in a tiny package-two tablespoons contains 18 percent of the RDA for calcium.  Calcium is key for strong bones and teeth, helpful with weight management, protects against heart disease and prevents cancer.   Two tablespoons also contains 35 percent of the RDA of phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese.

Phosphorus works with calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth.  It also improves digestion, prevents fatigue, regulates hormones, helps with brain function, and plays a role in protein production.  Magnesium is important for transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

Manganese helps maintain strong bones, regulate blood sugar levels, fights off free radical damage, maintain thyroid health, regulates body metabolism and helps with vitamin absorption.  It also plays a role in the production of collagen, energy production and helps maintain nerve health.

Chia seeds also help with weight management because the combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to feeling fuller for longer.  Chia Seeds are also wonderful for detoxifying your body because once digested they swell  and absorbs toxins in your body, cleansing the digestive track. They contain other detoxifying properties that provide glowing skin, strong nails and shiny hair.

Including them in your diet is simple as they are wonderful sprinkled on fresh fruit, tossed into a salad or added to breads, soups, yogurts or pudding.