Chia seeds originate from the ancient Aztecs, where they were so revered they were used as currency.
Chia have the highest known plant source of omega 3 fats which are known as essential fatty acids (EFAs), meaning we need them to be supplied by our food. EFAs are essential for our nervous system and brain, our cardiovascular system, skin and also our joints. Chia has 8 x the omega 3 that salmon has.
Unlike flax/linseeds and fish which also contain these fats, chia is very stable due to its high antioxidant value. Ground flax seeds and flax oil must be kept strictly refrigerated and used very quickly (in 1-2 weeks) or it goes rancid. Chia has 4 x the antioxidant strength of blueberries, and the black chia seeds will have more antioxidants than the white.
There are a plethora of gluten free grain/seed options available and they include: rice, corn, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, tapioca, millet, chia, flax, potato flour, chickpea flour, lentil flour, coconut, and nut meals e.g. almond or hazelnut meal
Whether you need to eat wheat or gluten free, it’s best to mix up sources of grain/seed/flour products for reasons of variety, and most alternatives have better nutrient profiles anyway. The most nutritious options are: quinoa, amaranth, millet, chia, flax, coconut and lentil.
As per my previous post, I don't advocate the consumption of a lot of gluten free substitutes, however there is a place for them and understanding how they can be used from a flavour, textural and nutritional point of view, is important. I will be progressively featuring each of the above listed foods starting t0day with quinoa and amaranth.