Chia Seed FAQs
- What are chia seeds? What makes them powerful?
Salvia Hispanica L, also known as the chia plant, is a blue-flowering plant related to mint. Believed to be indigenous to Mesoamerica (modern day Mexico and Central America), it was revered by the native peoples of the region as a source of strength. Small wonder, given that chia seeds are packed, ounce-for-ounce, with more protein, fiber, and essential omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant known to man. It is the world’s most powerful superfood.
Plus, chia seeds are hydrophilic; they absorb more than ten times their weight in water, and act like tiny camels in your body, keeping you hydrated, satiated, and energized.
Today, the FDA recognizes chia seeds as a real food and points to chia’s history as a food staple for centuries.
- How should I eat chia seeds?
Chia seeds can be eaten in many different ways.
The traditional way to eat chia seeds is to mix them in water, squeeze in a little lime and honey, and let them sit for a bit absorbing the water to form a semi-gelatinous beverage, then swigging it down. In Mexico, this drink is known as a iskiate or chia fresca.
At Health Warrior, we also sprinkle chia seeds over our yogurt, on our cereal, salads, PB&J sandwiches, onto fruit, into our smoothies, or mix them with almond or coconut milk to make a chia pudding. We invite you to click over to our recipes for more ideas.
Of course, we also eat them on-the-go in Health Warrior Chia Bars!
- What do chia seeds taste like?
Chia is flavorless. When eaten dry it is similar to a sesame seed, dense and slightly crunchy. When soaked in water or juice, chia seeds swell up to ten times their original size and take on a semi-gelatinous texture like tapioca pearls.
- Wait, is this the same chia seeds found in the chia pets of my youth?
Yes! The very same seeds that sprouted hair from your make-believe dinosaur now turns the regular you into the “super” you with tons of nutrients.
- Do chia seeds need to be ground like flaxseed?
No, unlike flaxseed and many other seeds, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to unlock their nutritional benefit.
- Why am I just hearing about this miraculous food?
In 1519 Spanish conquistadors, led by Hernán Cortés, arrived in what is now Mexico with just over 500 men. Within three years, Cortés and his band brought about the fall of the ancient Aztec Empire of five million people. One of the tactics of the Spanish Conquistadors during their ensuing colonization was the systematized destruction of indigenous traditions and culture; the chia plant was among the most important cultural traditions of the Aztec civilization, so accordingly, Cortés tried to wipe it out, and nearly succeeded. It has only been cultivated at scale again in the past two decades as interest in healthier, nutrient-dense superfoods has risen.
- What’s the difference between white and black chia seeds?
The difference between white and black chia seeds is little other than appearance. White Health Warrior Chia Seeds are used in Chia Bars so they aren’t visible when they get stuck in your teeth!
- Why do chia seeds tend to get stuck in my teeth?
It happens to us, too. Those mini but mighty chia seeds end up between two teeth instead of down in the stomach. But you probably don’t notice them until they soak up some of your saliva. That’s right, as you may have read above, chia seeds are hydrophilic, which is a fancy term that means when the seeds are placed in water or other liquids they expand up to ten times their original size. This allows your body to absorb chia’s nutrients, helps keep you hydrated, and fills you up. It also means that sometimes they hang around in your mouth for a bit until they swell up enough that you notice and swallow them. More nutrients for later!
- Is it possible to be allergic to chia seeds?
It is very rare, but it is possible. Those most likely to have a negative reaction to chia seeds are those who are allergic to sesame or mustard seed or to other members of the Salvia family, like sage or mint.
- What makes the protein in chia seeds special?
The protein in chia seeds is basically the most complete protein there is—it contains all of the ten essential amino acids that must be obtained from the diet. In fact, chia seeds are one of the most complete sources of plant-based protein available on earth, which allows for easier digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Why do I keep hearing about antioxidants?
Your body is a battlefield. The bad guys: free radicals that attack our cells and cause mutations in our DNA. The good guys: the antioxidants that mop up free radicals.
Chia seeds are a whole provider of five critical antioxidants—caffeic and chlorogenic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. Essentially, Health Warrior Chia Seeds are your warriors “on the inside.”
- Why is fiber so important?
We can’t say enough about this key dietary supplement. More fiber in our diets would cure a lot of the country’s health problems. Fiber:
-Improves weight loss by aiding feelings of fullness—fill up and slim down!
-Prevents constipation and enhances regularity.
-May improve irritable bowel syndrome.
-Decreases risk of heart disease.
-Decreases bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and blood sugar levels to improve blood pressure and lessen the risk of diabetes.
One tablespoon of Health Warrior Chia Seeds contains 20% of the Daily Recommended Value of Fiber.
One Health Warrior Chia Bar contains 16% of your Daily Recommended Value of Fiber.
- And why are omega-3s so critical?
Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids that our body needs to function normally. They help reduce inflammation, support blood vessel and joint health, and even brain function. Our bodies cannot make these, though; we have to obtain them from our diet.
Chia seeds are one of nature’s best sources of omega-3’s. Two tablespoons of chia seeds will give you more omega-3’s than a filet of salmon.
- Are there any other good things in chia seeds?
Magnesium and Calcium
Magnesium deficiency may play a role in joint pain, migraines, and leg cramps. The mineral is useful in the prevention and control of osteoporosis by helping in the absorption of calcium (good for the bones). Magnesium loves calcium. Calcium loves magnesium. If you take one without the other, your stomach might go all warrior on you. Good thing chia seeds have both.
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and vital to tissue integrity, cell function, and general health. Deficiency may be associated with fatigue/poor sleep, muscular weakness, arrhythmia (irregular heart rate), anxiety, and—most importantly—elevated blood pressure.
- OK, a lot of nutrients but what does it all mean for me? What are the benefits of chia seeds?
- What is the glycemic load of chia seeds?
Chia seeds have a glycemic load of one.
The glycemic load of food is a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person’s blood sugar level after eating it. A load of 1-10 is low, 11-19 medium, and 20 or greater is considered high. Studies have shown that sustained spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels may lead to increased risk of diabetes.
In fact, some studies have begun to demonstrate evidence that when chia seeds are eaten with other foods with a high glycemic load (like cheese pizza!) they may have a mitigating effect on the blood sugar rise, actually lowering the overall glycemic load of the meal. Pass the chia seeds, please!
- Do chia seeds help with weight loss?
The fiber, quality protein, and significant density of nutrients per calorie found in chia seeds create a satiating effect on your appetite; you get more nutrition from less food, meaning chia fills you up to slim you down.
- Do chia seeds increase energy and endurance?
Chia is often referred to as “runner’s food.” Chia seeds are hydrophilic; they absorb more than ten times their weight in water, and act like tiny camels in your body, keeping you hydrated, satiated, and energized even during intense physical activity.
It’s written that Aztec messengers would traverse their empire—from the Atlantic to the Pacific—with nothing but a pouch of chia seeds for sustenance.
- What if, hypothetically speaking of course, I do not run 15 miles a day?
That’s OK. You don’t have to be an avid runner to get the health benefits of chia seeds. Chia is still one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, still filled with good-for-you’s like fiber, protein, and omega-3’s, critical to any healthy, balanced diet.
- What amount of chia seeds should I eat each day?
Two tablespoons of Health Warrior Chia Seeds a day will provide you with lots of good-for-you nutrients:
-6000mg Omega-3′s (200% of the World Health Organization’s recommended daily amount)
-40% of the daily recommended amount of fiber
-More antioxidants (more than blueberries) than almost any other whole food
-8 mg of iron (more than spinach)
-350 mg of calcium (more than milk)
-190 mg of magnesium (equivalent to pounds and pounds of broccoli)
- Is all chia made equal?
No. A thousand times no! Health Warrior vets out the most Premium Grade A Chia Seeds and brings them to you.
If a farmer harvests chia too early, many of the nutrition benefits are lost. Our growers harvest at the exact right time, and use No Tillage Farming, which is environmentally sustainable and produces healthy soil. Healthy soil = great nutrients for the chia plant = the very best chia = a better, faster, stronger you.
Health Warrior Chia Seeds have 100% traceability from farm to package. They’re also listed as an EU Novel Food and boast Global GAP, GMP & HACCP Certifications. Not to mention, we have a guaranteed purity level of 99.9%. Unlike some of the other guys, there’s no accidental rocks, dirt, or twigs in Health Warrior Chia Seeds!
- Where are Health Warrior Chia Seeds grown?
Health Warrior Chia Seeds are grown in South America in the highlands of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and northern Argentina.
- Are Health Warrior Chia Seeds non-GMO?
Yes. Health Warrior Chia Seeds and Chia Bars are certified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project.
According to the Non-GMO Project, “GMOs ‘genetically modified organisms,’ are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering).” No splicing or engineering of any kind has been performed on Health Warrior Chia Seeds.
- Are Health Warrior Chia Seeds Kosher?
Yes. Health Warrior Chia Seeds and Chia Bars are Kosher Certified by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.
- Where can I buy Health Warrior Chia Seeds?
Health Warrior Chia Seeds can be found primarily on websites where natural and healthy foods are sold as well as on Health Warrior’s online shop.