ASK HN: “What’s the deal with Chia seeds – should I try them?”

EXPERT ON CALL: Sharon Richter, R.D.

Cha-cha-cha Chia! Remember the popular 80′s TV commercial that made growing a garden on ceramic pets, like puppies and bunnies, impossibly adorable and fun? Well, those same seeds that made that green bush grow like fluffy fur are back – and nowadays they’re considered a super-food.

Here are five healthy reasons to add these teeny low-cal seeds, native to Mexico and Guatemala, to your diet. Simply sprinkle one or two tablespoons to your morning oatmeal or yogurt (the raw seeds have a nutty flavor) or soak them in fruit juice to make a sweet, thick liquid snack.

1. Curbs Cravings: High in fiber, Chia seeds may reduce blood sugar levels after meals to keep you feeling full for longer—and hopefully far away from the office vending machine.

2. Keeps You Hydrated: A Chia seed can absorb about 12 times its weight in water. This characteristic helps keep you fully hydrated.

3. Manages Blood Sugar Levels: Scientists believe Chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics because they slow down how fast your body converts complex carbs into simple sugars.

Watch our related videos about diabetes.

4. Boosts Bone Health: Milk may do a body good, but Chia seeds will make your skeleton smile. They contain six times more calcium than moo juice and greater amounts of high-quality protein than soy.

Watch our related videos about calcium.

5. Fends Off Inflammation: A rich source of omega-3s (more than salmon!), they can help protect against inflammation caused by chronic conditions such as arthritis and heart disease.

Watch our related videos about arthritis and heart disease.

 

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