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Small But Mighty

Tiny chia seeds have been getting a lot of attention lately. Often referred to as a superfood, they offer many health benefits and carry a punch, with all nine essential amino acids in proper proportion, as well as many nonessential aminos.

Most evidence shows that humans began using chia seeds around 3500 B.C. Aztecs and Mayans consumed them regularly, grinding them into flour, pressing them for oil and drinking them mixed with water.

Chia seeds have several of the same benefits as the more well-known flaxseed, but unlike flaxseed, they don’t have to be ground up to impart those benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and even protein. They also leave you feeling full and satisfied for hours due to their expanding quality, without the calories, providing energy, fiber and antioxidants and balancing sugar levels.

One ounce of chia seeds has 137 calories, 9.9 grams of fat, 29 grams of carb, four grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber.

—Ninette Terhart

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