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November 04, 2015 / Nicole Villeneuve

Superfood Alert: What Are Chia Seeds?

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Have you met the next big superfood? Chia seeds are slated to hit $1 billion in sales in the next 5 years ... but when you first hear the name, your first thought might be "chia pet" rather than "chow down."

Raspberry chia pudding - PlateJoy

So what are chia seeds anyway? Here are a few things we love about this super seed:

They're gluten-free (and Paleo-friendly)

On a grain-free diet? Chia seeds are a great replacement for some things you might be missing. Add them to a grain-free trail mix, or use them as a crispy topping to smoothies instead of traditional granola.

They keep you full

A tablespoon of chia seeds has 5g of carbohydrates—but nearly all of those come from fiber. That, combined with their high protein content (about 14% of chia's nutritional content comes from protein), will keep you full longer, so you won't be running out for a snack between meals.

They're packed with nutrients

Antioxidants, omega-3s, calcium, magnesium and more: Chia seeds are full of things that your doctor would love. A recent study has shown that the  powerful combo also helps reduce cholesterol, as well as regulate insulin levels.

They're easy to store

Chia seeds are sometime available in the bulk section of the grocery store, but if you need to buy a larger container, don't worry. The antioxidant content of the seeds help them stay fresh without refrigeration for up to 2 years.

They make breakfast a breeze

Because of their absorbent properties, chia seeds make easy overnight puddings and shakes, for a breakfast that you just have to grab from the fridge the next day. Check out some of our favorite recipes on PlateJoy:

Nicole Villeneuve
Director of Content @ PlateJoy

Nicole Villeneuve is the Director of Content Strategy at PlateJoy and a certified Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. A graduate of Yale University, she previously worked in book publishing, with a focus on cookbooks and health, and ran the food blog Paper and Salt. Her writing has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and The Daily Beast. Nicole lives in San Francisco and loves cooking, reading, exploring new restaurants, and running by the ocean. You can (very occasionally) find her on Twitter.

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