_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.
_Chia has a low glycemic index (GI), is gluten free and are jam packed with nutrients including a complete amino acid profile. This means it contains all eight essential amino acids which is rare in plants. Humans can’t manufacture these amino acids so must be provided in food. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein that form tissues like muscles and skin and help create enzymes. Chia is up to 23% protein and contains 18 amino acids including tryptophan which is important for relaxation and sleep, also tyrosine which is important for mood and thyroid health.
Chia is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, B & C vitamins.
Chia has 37% fibre and includes insoluble fibre which is the ‘roughage’ that keeps us regular and insoluble fibre that helps remove bad cholesterol (LDL—low density lipoproteins) from out bodies.
Australia has the worlds largest chia industry in the Kimberley's. Chia is also a very environmentally friendly crop because it is naturally bug resistant and uses little water to grow.
How to use chia
Use 1-2 Tbs of chia daily for optimal results
Chia, like flax seeds, will create a gelatinous gloop once soaked. This effect is great for soothing irritated guts.
Sprinkle whole or ground chia on cereal or salads
Add chia to smoothies—if not drunk immediately it will thicken considerably
Add whole or ground to baking to add fibre and minerals (however the vitamins and omega 3 will be destroyed by the heat)
Create a chia pudding—soak 3-4 Tbs of chia seeds in a cup of juice or milk (chia is tasteless so adding flavour is a good idea), add some fresh or frozen berries, dried goji berries, and any other flavours you fancy, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, cacao or carob powder etc. mix well and place in the fridge. Eat straight as a snack a few Tbs at a time.