Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 7.25.46 PM Ch-ch-ch-CHIA. Nearly a decade ago, we only saw infomercials about these seeds and how they created the craziest looking pets. But over the last few years the health benefits of chia seeds have circumvented the importance of spouted pets leading you to see them in nearly every grocery store. Question is, why is everyone obsessing over these tiny seeds and sprinkling them on every meal? Here are a few reasons why: 1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Chia seeds are packed with omega-3s, the fats that are essential for brain health. (about 5g every 1 oz serving). 2. High source of fiber: 1 oz serving of chia seeds equates to 11 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber is crucial for the digestive system and helps with satiety. 3. Regulate blood sugar levels: chia seeds slow down the process of carbohydrates being converted into simple sugars, which stabilizes blood sugar levels, preventing them from spiking. This slow conversion also helps to maintain energy levels, which are great for endurance athletes. 4. Great for teeth and bones: chia seeds contain minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, both of which are crucial to maintain healthy bones and teeth. 5. High in protein: these seeds contain around 4 grams of protein, a great source for those following a vegetarian/vegan diet. 6. Maintain proper heart health: as mentioned above, they’re a great source of omega-3s. These essential fatty acids increase HDL cholesterol (known as the “good” cholesterol) while decreasing LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides. With a rise in HDL cholesterol in the blood, it will help decrease the likelihood of obtaining heart disease. Written by Danielle Maina, NASM Certified Nutritionist