Chia, the tiny seed of the Salvia Hispanica plant which is a member of the mint family, originated in Central Mexico. The ancient Aztecs prized the chia seed as a complete high endurance food and there are numerous stories of Aztec armies surviving on nothing but chia seeds and water during many of their military campaigns. Chia seeds are probably best known to North Americans from the “Chia pets” trend of the 1980s and 90s. But more recently these tiny oily seeds are becoming popular thanks to the numerous health benefits being attributed to this “super food”. And for good reason: they are one of nature’s most nutrient rich whole food. I have been eating chia seeds almost daily over the last few years.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium and with a high ORAC antioxidant content. One of the most noticeable benefits of Chia products is that thanks to the high amount of fiber, it can help you become more regular! My favourite way to consume chia seeds is to take one serving of the whole seeds with my breakfast combination of oats, protein and coconut oil. One 15 gram serving of these tiny seeds mixed with half a cup of Bob’s Red Mill quick cook steel cut oats, some coconut oil a half a scoop of CNP Propeptide makes for an excellent breakfast.
There are many ways to consume this “super food“. Chia seeds can be used in breakfast cereals, in shakes, for baking, ground up or whole and on their own (soak them in three times their volume of water for 20-30 minutes and then drink up the gel like mixture as the ancient Aztec warriors did!). I wouldn’t get too caught up in the “white vs black” chia debate. Go with the commonly available chia products, which will be a mix of more black than white seeds.
Chia is a great super food that is highly recommended by many experts for enhancing overall health. Here’s a short YouTube video with some more information on them.