Chia Seeds: Tiny Seeds with a Big Nutritional Punch

You may not of heard of chia seeds or know much about them, but they are fast becoming a very popular ‘super food’ and when you look at the nutritional data, it’s easy to see why.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. The tiny seeds come in either white, dark brown or black and are available from most good health food shops. Just one ounce (28g) of seeds provides the following:

9g fat – Mainly Omega-3 fat which is anti-inflammatory and very good for you

12g carbohydrate – 11g of which is dietary fibre. That’s 42% of an adults recommended daily fibre allowance!

4g protein – great news for vegetarians or those looking to add more protein to their diet

 Not only that but chia seeds are a great source of calcium, phosphorus (needed for strong bones) and manganese (to support brain and nerve function and assists in fat metabolism).

 So once you’ve got your seeds, what do you do with them and how to you add them to your diet? Here are a few ideas:

  • Sprinkle over your morning porridge
  • Use as an egg substitute. Mix one part seeds with six parts water. Wait for the seeds to swell and become gelatinous. One tablespoon of the gelatinous mixture is equivalent to one egg
  • Add to your smoothies
  • Make a healthy chia dessert like this one
  • Use as a thickener in soups or gravy
  • Sprinkle over your salad
  • Whisk some in with your eggs next time you make an omelette
  • Add some to your marinade and brush over the meat at your next barbeque
  • Throw some seeds into a stir fry

 I’m sure there are lots more ways to add these fantastic little seeds to your diet so get experimenting!