Salmon for its omega-3s. Avocados for their healthy fats. Nuts for their protein. And the newest superfood? Chia seeds. What you may associate as pet “fur” growing out of an animal-shaped terracotta pot is a veritable health-booster, as more research shows this seed—packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber—can lower blood sugar, cut tummy flab, and more.
In one study cited in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, scientists fed lab rats a typical American diet high in sugar and fat. One group also ate chia seeds, and after eight weeks they had 39 percent lower blood sugar, 25 percent less stomach fat, 50 percent less liver fat, and 46 percent less joint inflammation. In an Appalachian State University study, 10 post-menopausal women had 25 grams of chia a day for seven weeks, and at the end of the study they showed significant increases in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Additional research has indicated that omega-3s may improve menopausal symptoms, including depression and hot flashes.
Intrigued? No need to go to the toy store to pick up these nutritious gems. Chia seeds are on grocery store shelves and cost only about $6 per pound. Three ch-ch-ch-cheers to getting healthy.