Just the facts. From the experts.

In the 14th century, Aztec warriors fought battles fueled by the mighty chia seed. In fact, the word chia means strength in Mayan. After that, chia seeds disappeared along with the mysterious ancient cultures to be later reborn as the kitschy cha-cha-cha-chia pets of late-night infomercials. Which left us wondering, how did this nutrient-packed seed go from food of the Aztec gods to green hair for terra cotta pet look-alikes, and back to one of the most popular whole foods again?

It’s easy to see when you consider that these tiny whole seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. Chia is also a heavyweight champ, absorbing nine times its weight in water, resulting in a thick, gel-like substance. As a result, it can be used as a vegan-friendly egg substitute in cakes, cookies or any other place you use eggs. Another nutritional plus is chia can be absorbed by the body whole, so it does not need to be ground like flax seed, making it a quick, versatile and easy substitute.

Perplexed about how to incorporate this Aztec wonder into your favorite foods or want to try chia with something new? Find some cha-cha-cha-chia inspiration at our Best Food Facts’ Pinterest page!

Chia Quick Facts:

1 ounce of chia =

130 calories
4 grams of protein          
9 grams of fat
12 grams of carbohydrates
11 grams of fiber

Source: Web M.D.

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