Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia: Not Just a Homegrown Pet

You’ve seen that commercial with the catchy tune that sticks in your head.  If you’re like me you can’t help walking by one in the store without singing it.  Did you know that the cute little chia pet sitting on your windowsill contains a plethora of goodness for your health? 

The chia herb comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica which is found in Mexico and means “strength”.  Once you read about all of the health benefits you will see why it is the perfect name for this powerful little herb.  Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and calcium it packs a powerful punch when included in your daily meals. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of incorporating the chia herb into your menu.

Improve your overall health

Chia is considered the richest source of Omega-3, which is important for heart health and maintaining low levels of cholesterol.  Additionally, it contains powerful antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage.   Guarding your system against free radical damage that builds up from physical stress, emotional stress or injury can help you maintain a healthy, strong body.  

Discover balance

The mild, nutty tasting herb contains 11 grams of dietary fiber in just 1 ounce.   Digestive health is supported when adding this source of fiber to your diet.  You will also experience balanced blood sugar.  Chia contains soluble and insoluble fiber, which combine to slow the body’s conversion of starch into sugar.  

Release weight

When people me that they want to lose weight, I ask why they want to find it again.  If you plan on releasing weight, chia is a great herb to turn to.  A healthy weight management programs should include carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats.  The chia seed contains all of these.  As one of the highest sources of plant-based protein, chia contains a balance of vitamins and minerals that include calcium and magnesium.  Protein is essential to maintain muscle mass when seeking to release weight.  Carbohydrates are the fuel that helps to give you the energy you need.  Many vegetarians use chia as a regular part of their nutrition program. 

One ounce of chia yields the following:  Protein:  4.4 grams, Carbohydrates: 12 grams, Fat: 9 grams. 

 Another great things about chia: it is really easy to add to your meals.  Most people choose to sprinkle chia on their food.  Add chia to your salad, protein shake, or sprinkle it on your meal.  Get creative and cook with chia!  When a recipe calls for butter you can use chia instead.  Simply take the measurement for butter and cut it in half.  For example, if you need 1 tbsp of butter, use ½ tbsp of chia instead.  Not only will it be healthier, your baked goods will stay fresh longer.