Chia seeds (yes, the same ones that create those adorable Chia Pets of yesteryear) have become the coveted nutritional powerhouse of the year. From smoothies and juices to salads and cereals, chia seeds are showing up as the new superfood addition to healthy meals everywhere.

“The common name, chia, derives from the Mayan chiabaan, meaning, strengthening,” writes herbalist Brigitte Mars, “The native peoples of the American Southwest for endurance have long used chia seeds, where tribe’s people could run swiftly on a handful of chia seeds and a gourd of water.”

We’ve got 15 more reasons why everyone is talking about chia seeds benefits.

1. Good for Vegans
One of the handiest chia seeds benefits is how nutrient-dense they are. They’re also a whole grain, gluten-free, and high in fiber.

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