By Barrie Rogers, Debbie Dooly

Part of Cooking with Chia For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The term superfood is overused by marketing agencies to promote different foods that really don’t deserve the title. However, chia has so many different properties and is high in so many essential nutrients that it more than deserves to call itself a superfood. Here’s why:

  • It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids. Chia is one of the highest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the world, and omega-3s have many benefits to health such as improved memory and concentration, better mental health, and lower cholesterol levels.

  • It’s a complete protein. Chia has all the essential amino acids that are needed for cell growth and repair. This is unusual in a plant, so chia is an especially beneficial source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

  • It’s high in antioxidants. Chia contains many antioxidants that are known to fight disease and promote health.

  • Its nutrients are bioavailable. Chia’s nutrients are easily absorbed by the body, which means that the nutrients can be put to work fast to help fuel the body and promote health.

  • It’s versatile. Chia has little or no taste and a long shelf-life, so it has many applications. It can be used in any recipe without affecting the flavor, and its nutrients remain stable for a long time.

  • It’s hydrophilic. Chia absorbs up to ten times its weight in water and helps to slow the conversion of carbohydrates to sugars. This helps you avoid sugar peaks and troughs and provides more sustained energy.

  • It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals. Chia is high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, the B vitamins, and selenium.