6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are small, oval and mottle-colored with black, white, gray and brown. The seeds are hydrophilic, which means they have an affinity for water, dissolve in it, and be mixed with it. They are able to absorb up to 12 times their weight when soaked in water or other liquids.
What makes chia seeds so popular is they have a high nutritional value with very few calories. “Chia” is the ancient “Mayan word for “strength”, and for good reason: they provide the body with sustainable energy. Even though the seed was a dietary staple for Mayans and the Aztec they’ve only recently earned their place as a modern-day superfood.
It’s easy to be fooled by their size, but they pack a huge nutritional punch. They’re rich in Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, protein, iron, and magnesium. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
By adding chia seeds to your diet you can help reduce joint pain, aid with weight loss, increase energy levels, improve brain power, reduce depression, protect against diabetes, fight arthritis and keep the digestive system healthy. The risk of liver and heart disease is also reduced.
The recommended daily dietary allowance is 1 to 2 tablespoons. Make sure you don’t eat them in their raw form. They must be soaked in enough water or any other liquid for them to expand.
Chia seeds can be sprinkled on top of salads or even toast. Add them to porridges and smoothies, soups, puddings and other baked goods.
A word of warning though, do not exceed the recommended daily amount as this could increase the risk of prostate cancer.