I WAS wandering around my local supermarket recently and came across some Chia seeds. I looked at the packet and even though my Spanish is not exactly what you would call fluent yet, I did manage to work out that these little seeds are real nutritional hotties.

I did my homework and found that chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica and is found in southern Mexico where I live. They were an important part of the Aztec and Mayan diet in pre-Columbian times and were given to Aztec warriors in their basic rations. The legend goes that one tablespoon was believed to keep an individual going for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used to use them medicinally to help saliva flow,  joint pain and sore skin.

This could be  because Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They contain even more than flaxseed. The seeds are so rich in antioxidants  you can store them for long periods of time and they don’t go off. Chia seeds also provide fibre, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper,  iron, molybdenum, niacin and zinc.

Chia crops were banned after the Spanish conquest because of their link to the Aztec religion – they were offered in rituals. However, these nutrient rich little seeds are enjoying a comeback. Check out your local health food store or try to order them on the internet.