Have you heard of eating chia seeds as a source of energy? When we informally surveyed a number of health-conscious people (including some certified nutritionists), we discovered that many consumers today have heard of chia seeds, but haven't considered eating them as part of a snack or a meal. Therefore, we decided to write this brief article to share some of the lesser-known truths about chia.
But before we cover some of the amazing nutritional qualities of chia seeds, we have another question for you.
Do you remember the “Chia Pet” that used to be sold on TV? Back 20 years ago in the United States, the chia seed was seen by people as something you pour onto an animal-shaped piece of clay and water it so it looks like green hair when the grass grows out. In case you’re too young to remember this (or you just blocked it out of your conscious mind and pretended it wasn’t there), here are a couple pictures of some “chia pets”:
So is there more to chia than just silly looking pet sculptures? You bet there is! The chia seed is actually a superfood that is jam-packed with nutrients designed to give you sustainable energy over many hours. The chia seed was used centuries ago by Aztec and Mayan warriors in Mexico as a staple in their diet to help provide them with a long term energy boost that carried them through battle, through 100+ mile hikes, and through any other physical challenges they faced. And still today, there are native tribes in Mexico whose individuals rely on chia seeds as a key part of their daily nutritional intake. As a matter of fact, I first made the mental jump from “chia pet” to “chia superfood” a couple years ago when I read the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. In that book Christopher describes his observations when he went to live with the Tarahumara Indians in north central Mexico. He talks about their “extraordinary endurance” and even calls them “superathletes”, but he realizes that these attributes are not ones that tribal members have at birth. These attributes come about from a simple diet centered around chia seeds and a lot of exercise (mainly running). One ounce of chia seeds has 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. Combine that with all the omega-3′s and essential fatty acids (EFAs) in every chia seed and your body will be saying “muchas gracias” every time a bunch of those delicious seeds lands in your mouth. Here’s a good article that elaborates more on the nutritional benefits of chia:
More Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds These are just a handful of the reasons why we chose to put raw, organic chia seeds on top of our handmade Juti Bars.