HEALTH: The chia seed powerful

Chia is an edible seed that comes from a desert plant called Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in abundance in southern Mexico.

You may have seen chia sprouts growing on various plantations called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant.

aztec chia seeds are known as "running food" because messengers could run all day with just a handful.

Chia is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more than flax seed. Chia seeds also provide fiber and calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc. Chia seeds are also a good source of flavonoids called quercetin.

Another advantage: when water is added and allowed to stand for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. The researchers suggest that this reaction also occurs in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. Full longer keep and maintain levels of blood sugar low and stable over a long period of time.

Chia has a nutty taste like. You can mix the seeds in water and add the lemon or lime juice to make a drink known in Mexico and Central America as "chia fresca." You can sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, yogurt or salads, eat them as a snack, or grind and mix with flour when making cookies or other baked goods.

With about $ 10 per pound, a bag of chia seeds is less than a Chia Pet! And they will last longer, because the level of chia seeds high in antioxidants prevents them from going rancid as other oils. You can store them in a sealed bag for up to two years. You can find chia seeds in many food stores and online in a variety of brands.