Superfoods are little nuggets of gold in the world of nutrition. Calorie sparse and nutrient dense, superfoods pack a lot of punch for their small weight and offer a ton of goodness to our bodies. Kale, beets, spinach and Greek yogurt are common superfoods, but three new powerhouses have risen dramatically in popularity and for good reason. YouBeauty shares why chia seeds, quinoa and dark leafy greens are a nutritional force to be reckoned with.

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1. Chia Seeds: This seed that was once valuable to the Aztecs long ago is derived from the flowering plant in the mint family and is still a champion of nutritional benefits in today’s culinary scene. Chia seeds are available in white or black—both of which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, iron and fiber. Just 1½ tablespoons of this little seed packs in the same amount of:

  • omega-3s in 5 ounces of salmon
  • calcium in 3 ounces of whole milk
  • protein in ¼ cup of kidney beans
  • iron in 3 cups of raw spinach

chia seeds in a spoon

One serving of chia seeds also provides a whopping 42 percent of your recommended daily intake of fiber. Research demonstrates the importance of fiber in the body, specifically for promoting stomach and GI health that is needed for a beautiful belly, skin, body and mind. Culinary creativity is easily accomplished with this super-soaker seed, which swells up to 10 times its size in liquid, making you feel fuller. Unlike flax seed, chia does not need to be ground in order to obtain its nutrients. Whole chia seeds have a four-year-plus shelf life, and because they have an extremely low glycemic index rating of 1, chia seeds lower the rate at which other carbohydrates are converted into sugars. Try this deliciously healthy Chia Seed Pudding!

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