Chia seeds have been used for centuries for their long-lasting energy, fiber, amino acids, and nutrients.
Chia seeds are also known as salba grain or salvia hispanica. They’re native to Southern and Central Mexico and Guatemala. These seeds (derived from the whole plant/flower) were an important crop grown and used by the Aztecs for their health benefits. You could imagine why these were so popular and widely used with the Aztecs — the small size leads to easy transportation while packing significant nutrient density to nourish and fuel their bodies for long periods of time. These tiny water-loving seeds are loaded with nutrition and deserve the title “superfood”.
How to Use:
Soak chia seeds in water or the liquid of your choice at least 20 minutes before consuming. Chia seeds love water and will soak up any liquid around it. Add chia seed “gel” to thicken smoothies, desserts, porridge, oatmeal, or use as a vegan “egg” in baking.
Nutrient Breakdown of Chia Seeds:
*per 1 ounce
Protein — 1 ounce of chia seeds contains 4g of protein, a “complete” protein as it contains all the essential amino acids.
Fiber — 1 ounce of chia seeds contains 11g of fiber, mostly soluble
Omega-3 fatty acids — 1 ounce contains 4.9g
Specifically in the form of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). In humans, ALA is not as easily converted (in most circumstances) to EPA/DHA as from animal sources.
Omega-6 fatty acids — 1 ounce contains 1.6g
Calcium — 18% DV
Phosphorus — 27% DV
Manganese — 30% DV
Zinc — 7% DV
Where to Purchase:
Health food stores, grocery stores, farmers markets, or online retailers
Tips and Tricks:
If using ground chia seeds and you have leftovers, store these in the freezer to help keep them fresh. Also, when purchasing in bulk, keep some in the pantry for everyday use and the rest in the freezer.