Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.
Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency!
Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They said just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours.
Chia Seed Nutrition Profile
The reason Chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals such as (1):
- Dietary fiber (11g – 42% recommended daily value)
- Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (4915 mg)
- Omega-6 fatty acids (1620 mg)
- Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
- Copper (0.1 mg – 3% RDV)
- Phosphorus (265 mg – 27% RDV)
- Potassium (44.8 mg – 1% RDV)
- Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV)
Chia also contains essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, and they are a rich source of anti-oxidants.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have a mild nutty taste and can easily be added to most dishes as a garnish, yet chewing small seeds like flax or chia generally doesn’t make the omega-3’s and other nutrients readily available for digestion and assimilation. The best way to access their vitamins and minerals is to either grind or soak them.