Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Superfood of the Week: Health Benefits of Chia

ChiaHave you ever had a Chia Pet? Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!  Did you realize that you can actually eat those seeds?  I wouldn’t recommend the exact ones from the Chia Pet box, but you can find Chia seeds at your local health food store. 

Chia seeds are tiny, but they pack in more nutrition that you think. Chia seeds were once used by Aztec Warriors as a survival food, so just think of the benefits you can obtain!  That is why they are the Superfood of the Week!

Chia seeds are packed with nutrition—some might say they even rival the flax seed, giving that ’ole flax a run for its money. This is because Chia seeds have a higher dose of nutritious benefits, including:

  • omega-3 fatty acids (from ALA)
  • antioxidants
  • fiber
  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • iron
  • zinc

The list goes on with the nutritional quality of this seed, including that it is naturally gluten free.

Another benefit of chia seeds is that you can fit them anywhere in your diet. Use these seeds by sprinkling them over salad, cereal and yogurt, adding them to stew, soup, smoothies and casseroles, or you can use them when making your favorite baked goods and granola bars.

Chia also has the ability to gel into a tapioca-like pudding. Add water to your chia seeds, let them sit for 30 minutes and you have a tasty treat. For a simple recipe try this chia pudding from whole foods.

I had the pleasure of being one of the first people to try the first commercially available beverage containing Chia seeds called Drink Chia. It’s brand new on the market. Check out to see where you can find the drink in your area or order it online!

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Tags: Antioxidants , Healthy Eating , Nutrition , Superfood of the Week

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Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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