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Chia seeds are very small, black seeds from a mint-like plant called Salvia hispanica. Prized by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans as a supreme source of energy, chia seeds are now considered to be one of the world’s so-called superfoods. That’s because they pack an unsurpassed nutritional punch.

One 1-ounce serving of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of omega-3 fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, potassium, thiamine and vitamin D2. Since they are also high in antioxidants, they can help to reverse the damage that free radicals can cause to your body. Their elevated fiber and protein make them a terrific addition to the diet of anyone trying to lose weight. Although scientists are still studying the benefits of milk chia seed pudding, there is good reason to believe that they can also help to nourish your bones, reduce heart disease risk, keep blood sugar levels down and lessen inflammation.

The best news of all is that you can easily incorporate them into your diet. Because they are quite bland, you can add them to virtually anything, and they don’t need to be ground. Eat them raw, soak them in juice, make them into a chia seed pudding with milk, sneak them into brownies or shake a handful onto pasta, rice or cereal. The sky is the limit. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious chia seed pudding or smuggling these tiny energy powerhouses into the next dessert you serve to your kids, you’ll never go wrong by adding chia seeds into your diet.