Supposedly, the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas used chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance while running long distances or during battle.
Chia seeds make an incredibly health and an often unnoticeable addition to many foods. They can be eaten raw. They can be soaked in fruit juice (in Mexico, they call this “chia fresca”). They are also perfect in porridges and puddings and make an ideal addition to baked goods including breads, cakes and biscuits. Try adding a couple of teaspoons to your morning smoothie.
There is evidence to suggest chia seeds can reduce blood pressure.
They are the richest plant source of Omega-3 containing more than salmon, this fat protecting against inflammation—such as arthritis—and heart disease.
Chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate they can control blood sugar and thus leading scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
They are easier to digest than flax seeds, and don’t need to be ground up.
Chia seeds are popular for weight loss as they reduce food cravings by preventing some of the food that you eat from getting absorbed into your system. Also because they absorb 10 times their weight in water, forming a bulky gel, they can help a diet by making you feel full.
Chia seed has hydrophilic properties, (able to absorb more than 10 times its weigh in water) therefore can prolong hydration, helping retain moisture and regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids, including electrolyte balance.
They are gluten/grain free naturally and one tablespoon of Chia Seeds has more calcium than a glass of milk. They are also an excellent source of antioxidant and fibre.
A delicious breakfast recipe, just needs to be made the night before and is ready to be eaten next morning.
- 300ml almond milk
- 5 tablespoons chia seeds
- Vanilla pod
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 ripe banana
- Handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
Place milk, banana, almond butter, honey and seeds scraped from half the vanilla pod into blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into pot and add chia seeds. Cover and leave in fridge overnight. The chia seeds will expand and you will have a thick creamy pudding for breakfast. Add fresh fruit if required.