Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica, which is related to the mint. This plant grows natively in South America. Chia seeds were an important food for the Aztecs and Mayans back in the day. They prized them for their ability to provide sustainable energy… in fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.
” Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple, only recently did chia seeds become recognized as a modern day superfood. In the past few years, they have exploded in popularity and are now consumed by health conscious people all over the world. Don’t be fooled by the size… these tiny seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch.
This is particularly impressive when you consider that this is just a single ounce, which supplies only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate! Just so that we’re all on the same page, 1 ounce equals 28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons. Interestingly… if you subtract the fiber, which may not end up as usable calories for the body, chia seeds only contain 101 calories per ounce.
This makes them one of the world’s best sources of several important nutrients, calorie for calorie. To top things off, chia seeds are a “whole grain” food, are usually grown organically, are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten. Another area where chia seeds shine is in their high amount of antioxidants (3, 4). These antioxidants protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid (5).