We got to know chia seeds as cute clay figurines that grow fluffy green fur when we fill them with chia seeds and water them regularly. That is very poor use of this tiny powerhouse. Extremely rich in oil and a range of nutrients, chia seeds have been staple food for poor people in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua for thousands of years. You might have even tried pinole, pinolillo or chia fresca when traveling through Central America.
Aztec Indians, who discovered chia seeds, knew that they were good for them, but did not know why. The main claim to fame of chia is its high content of Î±-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play crucial role in normal development, growth and brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are found to lower the risk of arthritis and heart disease and arthritis and might even reduce the risk of cancer. They are also found to positively affect function of our brain and our behavior. They are found to significantly boost our immune system and may be used to treat a number of health problems.
How to eat chia
Chia seeds come from salvia hispanica, a plant from the mint family. They have pleasant nutty flavor and are very rich in good oils. The easiest way to eat them is to mix them with your other grains when baking or to add them to your morning cereals.
You can also try eating chia the way Aztec Indians used to eat them thousand years ago. Start by toasting some good quality Mexican corn meal. Add about 3 tablespoons of toasted chia and a spoonful or two of amaranth. Once it is all lightly toasted, grind it very fine and add water. Make porridge, and add honey, cinnamon or vanilla for flavor.
Chia is becoming very popular among athletes because of high nutritional value in a small package. While Aztec warriors used a handful of chia seeds soaked in a container of water, and would drink it during long runs, modern athletes are finding new, and more tasteful, ways to use chia for strength and endurance.