Chia seeds might be a relatively new ‘super food’ in the media but this nutritious little seed has been used for thousands of years as a valuable supplement to diet and to promote a healthy body. The Aztecs and Mayans were the first to discover the wonderful properties of chia and valued it very highly as a food crop.
Chia Seeds Through the Ages
The word “Chia” in Mayan means strength and it formed a fundamental part of the Mayan diet having the same high regard as maize and beans. Chia was also an important component of the diet for thousands of Native American tribes in Central America. So you see, chia seeds aren’t a fad, and neither are they a genetically modified food. They have thousands of years of history and have provided ancient civilisations with the nutrition and fortification they needed to survive in some harsh conditions.
In fact, it is believed that Aztec runners and warriors were able to sustain themselves on just one tablespoon of chia seeds a day. This only goes to prove the energy and nutrition these little seeds can provide and the positive effects they have on the body.
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant that actually belongs to the mint family. Growing over 3 feet tall, this annual herb produces beautiful clusters of white or purple flowers. Chia grows naturally in southern Mexico and Guatemala and many other arid lands. The plant is relatively easy to grow and yields bumper harvests of seeds that are literally bursting with goodness.
Chia Seeds in the 21st Century
Chia seeds have remained unchanged since their discovery as a vital food source thousands of years ago. They still contain the same high amount of omega oils, protein, calcium and antioxidants as they always did and thanks to modern-day marketing they come in a wide range of different varieties. Sprinkled on salads, over soups, in smoothies or eaten alone, chia seeds are a great way to get vital nutrients into the body.
Chia seeds contain goodness in abundance and have some marvellous anti-ageing and healthful benefits. They are suitable for those on a gluten free or grain free diet and have a pleasant yet subtle taste which means they can be added to lots of different foods and even drinks. More and more people are taking notice of chia seeds as studies are starting to show their many benefits on the body. Not only are they great for increased energy, but their anti-aging and overall health benefits are obvious too once you start taking them.
We can learn a lot from history and the natural foods that were eaten. Chia seeds are just one super food that has stood the test of time and with great reason! Packed full of fibre, protein, Omega oils, antioxidants, iron and calcium, chia seeds are certainly here to stay!