These fuzzy seeds have soared in popularity over the last few years and are quoted as being a superfood. So what are they, how do you add them to your diet and are they really a superfood?
Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that's native to Mexico and Guatemala and although they have remained in regular use in its native countries they only gained popularity elsewhere since the 1990’s.
The seeds come in either white or a dark brown and black colour and have a huge nutritional profile. Containing calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, they are a high source of omega-3 fats and antioxidants. Nutritional experts however claim that plant oils are not as easily absorbed by the body as fish oils and advocate we eat oily fish such as Salmon for our Omega 3 intake. For those who don’t eat fish, Chia seeds are a good substitute. Linseed and hemp seed are also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids so Chia is not unique.
Also high in protein and fibre some claim they may help you lose weight however trials to date have shown no evidence of any weight loss benefit (or reduced heart disease).
When buying the seed the black and white seeds are the best, with red seeds being avoided. The seeds are tasteless so you can add to anything and everything and add texture and interested to a wide range of food. Sprinkle on top of salads, omelettes and sandwiches or add to smoothies.