Chia actually got its name from the Mayan word for “strength.” Chia seeds are “super” because they deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories. They have several of the same benefits as the more well-known “super seed” flax, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and much more – even protein!
Chia seeds’ ability to reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure make it extremely beneficial to consume for heart health. Chia seeds were proved to halt diabetes and reverse it, adding that to the list of benefits.Just one ounce of chia seeds has about 18 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Chia seeds also rank among the top plant-based sources of protein. This is another reason this super seed is great to consume for those trying to put on lean muscle, burn fat and balance blood sugar levels.
Raw vs. Soaking: It won’t hurt to eat chia straight, but if you soak them, then you “sprout” them, which releases the “enzyme inhibitors” that are used to protect the seed.
Also, this makes it much easier to digest, and two, your body can then access the dense nutrients inside the seeds. Since chia seeds can hold up to 12 times their weight in water, they’re wonderful to prevent dehydration. However, if you choose not to soak them, they can also absorb water from you during digestion. So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.