The Chia seed's long and storied history goes back centuries, to the indigenous people of the American Southwest and Mexico. Calling it "the running food" for its high energy content and tremendous endurance, the Aztec warriors would eat nothing else while going to war. The native Americans of the Southwest would march twenty-four hours on nothing but a teaspoon of Chia seed. And when they sent runners from the Colorado River to the California coast, those runners only brought a supply of Chia seeds as food.
What's the secret of the Chia seed's magic? When the Chia seed gets mixed with water, it forms a nearly solid gelatin. Researchers think this process, happening in the stomach, creates a barrier between the energy-rich carbohydrates and the enzymes that break them down. This slows the conversion into suger, making the energy last longer... and avoiding the "shock" to the system that causes so much trouble for diabetics.
The Chia seed has another trick up its sleeve, too. It can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water! This goes a long way to prolonging hydration in the body. The Chia seed helps you retain moisture and regulate nutrients in your bodily fluids far more efficiently. How? By absorbing extracellular fluid that would normally be needlessly lost, the Chia seed creates a reservoir that prevents intercellular fluids from being moved out of the cells to compensate for a loss. This action in turn helps ensure that the electolyte dispersion across cell membranes stays normal, keeping your cells operating at their peak.
Of course, the Chia seed has all the usual benefits of a seed, too: the Chia is high in oils and nutrients. In fact, the Chia has the highest Omega-3 content of any vegetable. On top of that, it's a great source of calcium: the Chia seed contains boron, a catalyst that helps the body absorb and use calcium.
No, Chia seeds aren't perfect. Like any other food, it's possible for people to experience an adverse or allergic reaction to Chia seeds. If you have a health condition, ask your doctor before adding them to your diet. If you have an allergy to sesame or mustard seeds, be careful with Chia seeds. Chia can also interact with certain medications that are designed to be absorbed at a certain rate. People taking blood thinners should avoid Chia seeds.
Summary, by our research chia seeds can be a wonderful supplement to an already balanced diet. Or simply a way to not make one feel guilty about eating pizza if sprinkled with chia seeds.