Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is native to South America. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength; one of the benefits of consuming this seed is its energy and enhanced exercise-performance effects.
The seed itself does not have much flavour. This means it can be used in loads of recipes, from healthy puddings to smoothies to breads and cereals. The seeds can absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water to form a gel, and vegans use this gel as an egg replacement in their recipes.
Despite their size, chia seeds are packed with nutrients. They are:
- An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids;
- Rich in antioxidants;
- Loaded with dietary fiber;
- High in phosphorus, calcium potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin E; and
- A good source of protein and essential amino acids.
From a health perspective, chia seeds are reported to:
- Increase energy levels and enhance exercise performance;
- Aid in weight loss by promoting a feeling of fullness;
- Support better digestion;
- Improve heart and skin health;
- Help balance blood sugar levels; and
- Build stronger bones.
Ingredients: Chia seeds
How to use: Use as an egg substitute in any dish (forms a gel with water). Makes delicious desserts. Add to smoothies, cereals, yogurt, breads, salads and more.