"Chia, or salvia hispanica L, literally means "strength" in Mayan and can be traced back over 3,000 years to Central America where the Mexica utilized it as one of their primary plant sources of food, notably their third most important crop (I've read first most important in other articles) next to corn and beans. Chia was considered more valuable than gold and was often used to pay taxes and tribute to the Mexica nobility.
When the Mexica civilization fell during the Spanish conquest, the Spanish banned chia and many other crops due to their close association with the religious systems of these ancient cultures and replaced the native crops with foreign ones such as wheat and carrots. Remnants of both the Aztec and Mayan civilizations remained in portions of Mexico where small communities continued using the seeds for making flour, oil, and drinks from the gel that forms when the seeds are mixed with liquid.
Though essentially obfuscated throughout many generations, chia would eventually reemerge as a popular super-food identified as being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
One of the primary benefits of chia seeds is their high concentration of essential fatty acids (EFAs), which are up to four times the concentration of other grains. EFAs are important for the respiration of vital organs, yet the human body is unable to manufacture them itself; they must be obtained through diet.
Chia is also touted as having the highest omega-3 content of any plant-based source, containing 64% alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Flax, another popular source of ALA, contains 55%. Chia is high in complete protein, containing about 23% per seed. All essential amino acids are present and appropriately balanced within the protein, making it complete and nutritious in and of itself. Packed with essential vitamins and trace minerals, chia is a phenomenal whole food for any diet. They also behave wonderfully when ground and used in gluten-free recipes.
High in fiber, chia is known for its easy digestibility. Its layer is a strong source of mucillois soluble fiber which aids in maintaining healthy digestion and assimilation of nutrients. Absorbing more than seven times its weight when placed in water, chia seeds form a gel that, when eaten, produces a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes in the stomach. This process effectively slows the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar, rendering chia a great addition to a diabetic diet. Similarly, chia consumption contributes to maintaining balanced hydration and electrolyte levels within the body, steadying water intake, assimilation and absorption."
Article taken from NaturalNews.com