The humble chia seed (salvia hispanica) is a veritable powerhouse of nutritional benefits. Believed to have originally been cultivated in Mexico, the seeds were prized and highly valued for their medicinal value and nutritional benefits. They were so well regarded and valuable they were even used as currency.
These tiny little seeds can absorb 12 times their size in liquid, they are rich in fibre, and contain the essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin; they also contain vitamins A, B, E and D; and minerals, including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine; and they’re a rich source of antioxidants. An ounce of chia seeds also contains 18% of your daily calcium needs, which is three times more than skimmed milk.
The chia seed is dense in nutrition and it was believed that just one spoonful of chia could sustain an Aztec warrior for an impressive 24 hours. These giants of the seed world have huge energy boosting properties and can boost endurance, in fact in the Mayan language they are known as ‘runners food’ because of their ability to boost endurance and energy whilst in battle or enabling the warriors to cover long distances.
Chia seeds are beneficial to healthy skin, in fact reducing signs of aging, promoting stronger bones & muscles. Lowering and in some cases reversing diabetes. They are hugely beneficial to maintaining a healthy digestive system and supporting the heart as well as increasing metabolism. They are believed to reduce the risk of certain cancers and be a valuable addition to your diet during pregnancy.
The beauty of these versatile little seeds is they can easily be added to most meals, including breakfast cereals, smoothies, salads and sprinkled on pretty much whatever you are eating. At Love Yourself we love these titans of the seed world and we often use them in a lot of our meals.
Why not try these seeds in our recipe below they make a delicious snack or breakfast and can be left in the fridge overnight to really soak up the liquid which will turn this into a really creamy tasting treat.
Coconut and Vanilla Chia seed pudding with fresh Mango
half a cup of chia seeds
2 cups of coconut milk
the seeds from one vanilla pod
1/4 cup of maple syrup/honey or xylitol if you have it
You could also add desiccated coconut, cinnamon, other nuts etc depending on preference. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk vigorously to combine, sweeten to taste and let rest covered in the fridge overnight and enjoy. Will last for 2-3 days in the fridge.