In the past couple decades, as people became hyper-aware of nutrition’s effect on overall health and well-being, superfoods took center stage.
Their presence was inescapable, like Miley Cyrus or juice cleanses. You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting an aḉaí berry. However, these foods have something that a lot of trends don’t: staying power. Here we highlight one of the most enduring superfoods of all time, and one of the newest additions to Thrive Market’s own line—organic chia seeds.
Chia seeds have been around for millennia (as early as 2600 B.C. according to some reports!). Aztec messengers and warriors relied on chia’s naturally energizing qualities for long journeys, and they were used for currency and offerings to the gods, too. Even when the Spanish conquistadors attempted to eradicate chia because of their stronghold on the Aztec culture, the seeds continued to find their way back time and again.
Now, science supports what our bygone ancestors already knew—chia are nutritionally dense, satiating, and great for the body. Plus, now they’re easy to access. Read on to find out what these little seeds have to offer, and keep the chart below handy for new ways to add them to your daily diet.
Chia is high in omega-3s and essential fatty acids that the body doesn’t produce on its own, so you need to get them from food. Both play an integral part in cell function and have been associated with a decreased risk in heart disease and stroke.
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber, which supports digestive health. Just one tablespoon supplies 19 percent of your recommended daily fiber intake. Chia are also a complete protein, incorporating all the essential amino acids necessary for the growth and repair of cells, making them a great way for vegetarians to get their protein.
In addition to a host of vitamins and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, folic acid, and more) one of chia’s most famous—and historical—uses is as a sustainable energy source. Their hydrophilic, or water-absorbing, properties help the body regulate fluids and retain electrolytes—both clutch in beating dehydration. They also slow the conversion of carbs to sugar, which equate to a slow release of energy, helping to prolong endurance.
Follow this guide based on your current cravings, and see the unlimited potential of chia seeds. Pin it, share it, or put it up on your fridge for daily inspiration. And of course, don’t forget to stock up on chia at Thrive Market!
Illustrations by Karley Koenig
In addition to Thrive Market, Megan has written copy for brands like Armani, Alexis Bittar, Nine West, Equinox, Olay, and (even) Jim Beam. Her health, beauty, and lifestyle coverage has been featured in Refinery29, Black Book, i-d, and others. After moving from New York, she found her home in Santa Monica, where she lives with her dog and fiance.
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