Chia seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala and come with an ancient history. They were staple crops in the Aztec and the Mayan civilization and, for a period of time, they were even used as a form of currency. The word ‘chia’ is said to originate from Mayan meaning ‘strength’. The unrivalled nutritional benefits of chia seeds make them the perfect source of strength and energy to start your day with.
Nutritional benefits of chia seeds
1) Rich in fibre
Even a small amount of chia seeds can contribute significantly to your daily intake of dietary fibre. A couple of tablespoons (25 g) contain approximately 9 g of fibre, one-third of the recommended daily amount.
2) Good source of protein
Protein makes up 16-20 per cent of the composition of chia seeds and it has a good balance of the amino acids our bodies require to function optimally.
3) Plenty of calcium
Chia seeds contain 633 mg of calcium per 100 g. A few spoonfuls of chia seeds have more calcium than a glass of milk; excellent news for those on a dairy-free diet.
4) Omega-3 fatty acids
The fat content of the chia seeds is mainly made up from Omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, they are not as readily absorbed as Omega-3 fatty acids from animal sources, such as fish oil, but still valuable, especially if you’re vegan.
5) Source of minerals
Consuming chia seeds will help you add a range of essential minerals to your diet in addition to calcium: iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper and magnesium.
How to use chia seeds
Chia seeds have a mild taste and can be used to complement a variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Mix a spoonful with your breakfast cereal or sprinkle them on top of your salad. Blend ground chia seeds with your smoothie or add them to your baking.
When you soak them, chia seeds absorb the liquid and become gel-like in consistency, which makes them the perfect ingredient for one of our all-time favourite recipes.
Khan’s easy vanilla chia pudding recipe
(serves 4 people)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or less to taste)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Wisk all the ingredients together until everything is mixed.
- Pour into 4 glass jars or ramekins to make individual serves or pop into a serving dish.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours in a ‘resting meditation’.
- Load up the pudding with your choice of granola seeds. Fresh fruit or your favourite toppings and voila, the pudding is ready to be enjoyed!
This pudding will give you all the energy and buzzing vibes you need in the morning without weighing you down. It’s also delicious as a cooling, guilt-free dessert. Best of all, it’s so easy to make!
Come to one of our yoga and mindfulness retreats and enjoy more delicious vegetarian meals, while you’re relaxing, recharging and enjoying our great community.
Tatiana is a freelance writer and a mum of three living in Sydney. After a 10-years’ break, she has just returned to full-time work. She is still finding time for yoga, meditation and mindfulness, which is making a huge difference to her sanity and her enjoyment of life.