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The Truth About the Chia Seed: Increased Endurance and More

Updated on July 31, 2012

The chia seed comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, which grows in southern Mexico. Five hundred years ago it was an important part of the Aztec diet. It is known that the Aztecs referred to the seed as running food because a handful provided enough energy to run all day. Chia seeds were also used medicinally to treat skin conditions and joint pain.

Today, the chia seed has gained much attention because of its manyhealth benefits. In fact, the seed is so nutritious that it couldbe eaten exclusively and still make you healthier than ever before. Itcontains a total of nineteen amino acids. The protein in a chia seed isof a higher quality than that found in soy, peas or beans, it has ahigher level of vitamin C than oranges, more omega - 3 fatty acidsthan flax seed, more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, morepotassium than bananas and more antioxidants than blueberries. Othernutrients include copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc andniacin. It is also loaded with antioxidants which include myricetin,chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin and quercetin. The chia seed doesnot go bad so they can be stored for long period of time. It is lowin sodium and is cholesterol and gluten free.

The chia seed is rich in soluble fiber and is able to absorb up to ten times its weight in water. This is highly beneficial because it slows digestion, stabilizing blood sugar and prolonging the feeling of fullness, which is important to control food cravings and manage weight effectively. Another benefit to slow digestion is the gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream which promotes stamina and endurance throughout the day. Finally, the chia seeds ability to absorb water promotes overall hydration and electrolyte retention. It is also effective at lowering blood sugar, reducing gastro-esophageal reflux disease, improving symptoms of diabetes, lowering blood pressure, improving colon health, increasing endurance and energy and improving heart health.

There are several ways you can eat the chia seed. It makes a great addition to any food because it doesn't distort flavor. Sprinkle the seeds on salads, cereals, soups, oatmeal or yogurt. You can even eat them whole and enjoy their pleasant, nutty flavor. Or they can be ground up and mixed with flour to make bread or baked goods or just about anything you like. The chia seed is either white or black. In North America a number of companies have been marketing the white seed but there is no difference in nutritional value between the black and white seed. Be aware when shopping for the chia seed that some companies are selling the it at unreasonable prices because of its present popularity. You can find chia seeds at your local natural foods or health store.


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    • Dennis Pace profile image

      Dennis Pace 7 years ago

      Great Hub! One significant difference I noticed after a short time eating chia, was a decrease in lower Back Pain. It must work great for reducing inflammation. cheers

    • InfinityVal profile image

      InfinityVal 7 years ago from NNY

      I have to get past my old mental image of a gelatinous chia pet and give these a try.

    • profile image

      rachel 7 years ago

      Thanks for the great info! I went to my local health store and bought some today. They were 11.00 for half a pound. I know you can get it alot cheaper online though. I just live in a small town so they tend to charge more. But I am very excited to start eating these and feel better.

    • flit profile image

      flit 8 years ago from Ontario

      This was very interesting; will have to see if I can find them somewhere ...thanks

    • gpetrou85 profile image

      gpetrou85 8 years ago from greece

      very nice,good hub.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment DynamicS!

      The seeds can be grinded up and put in soups, recipes etc. They can also be boiled or just eaten or sprinkled whole on some dishes.

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hi Steve; I like your hub about chia. It is very informative. Can you share some ways of preparing these seeds?


    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Very well done Steve. Love the info. I put your chi article address on facebook. That was a chore for me but I did it. I hope you get lots of readers. Warmest wishes, Patti . Your Fan .

      Thanks for being in my fan club as well I changed it a bit, do stop by for a fun tid bit hub. Skye2day Hub Pages

    • profile image

      joarline 8 years ago

      Great information Steve, I love your stuff! Keep it commin'!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Great info!!

    • profile image

      Rika Susan's Juicing For Health 8 years ago

      Thanks for introducing me to a new health product, Steve! Something potent to add to my juicing regime. Isn't nature just amazing to provide us with such good stuff?

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      There is a connection. It's the same plant.

    • Staci-Barbo7 profile image

      Staci-Barbo7 8 years ago from North Carolina

      Steve, is there any connection to the "Chia" plants in that are grown indoors in animal-shaped pottery - the product is usually sold during the Christmas holidays as a fast-growing indoor decorative plant? 

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      you keep raising the bar for good health information.

      I wonder if they have more protein than the cage-free eggs

      great hub

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

      Good news for all sufferers of the above complaints, I for one will go to my health store.

    • kiran8 profile image

      kiran8 8 years ago from Mangalore, India

      Excellent article, i had never heard of Chia seeds, thanks a lot for the information :)

    • artrush73 profile image

      artrush73 8 years ago

      Do they sell the Chia seeds in America? If yes, than where.

      Nice :)

    • hot dorkage profile image

      hot dorkage 8 years ago from Oregon, USA

      I especially like that "increasing endurance" part. I shall have to get some chia seeds and test that. So what I wanna know is if you have one of those chia pets, does it ever get furry enough that you can harvest your own chia seeds or do you just eat the sprouts?

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Sandman!

      You can get them at your local health store.

    • profile image

      TheSandman 8 years ago

      Good info again, where do you get them ?