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Chia – the champion seed

Including nuts and seeds in your diet is vitally important, as they are rich in antioxidants, soluble fibre, minerals and Omega 3s. Countless studies have also shown that seeds and nuts can lower your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

Patrick’s favourite “all-rounder” seed is chia – a seed which was part of the staple diet of the peoples of pre-BC Meso-America. This ancient seed is superior to other seeds because it is higher in Omega 3 and much lower in sodium than other seeds and is the highest vegetarian source of Omega 3 fats.

Chia contains 64% Omega 3 and 19% Omega 6, is also high in fibre and contains more protein – at 20% – than many grains. It is higher in antioxidants than other seeds, and has a higher percentage of minerals, containing as much as 631mg of calcium and 466mg of magnesium per every 100g.

It has a deliciously nutty flavour, and can be sprinkled over salads and added to cereals, soups and even cakes. You don’t have to grind these amazing little seeds, as with other seeds, as their outer husks dissolve on contact with water. Chia seeds can also be used to thicken soups, sauces and can be used in place of eggs in some recipes, due to their ability to turn gelatinous when mixed with liquids.

For a nourishing drink, Patrick suggests mixing 15g of chia seeds in a glass of water with lemon juice and honey. This mixture was traditionally used to fuel the Tarahumara Indians’ 100 mile runs, so will give you a powerful nutrient and energy boost.

So make sure to include chia seeds to your grocery list to start using these little nutritious gems. The recipe below shows how versatile and delicious chia can be:

Chocolate Chia Pudding

INGREDIENTS

300ml milk

50ml chia seeds

3 tbsps. raw cacao powder

A pinch of salt

1tbsp. honey

METHOD

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large glass jar. Stir them together, then put the lid on.
  2. Shake the jar to further mix the ingredients together.
  3. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight occasionally. Serve the pudding chilled.