Photo: Lee Harrelson
The chia seed has stolen the limelight lately on the supermarket red carpet, showing up in everything from energy bars to cereals to beverages. Chia comes from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia hispanica and is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. These tiny black and white seeds were used long ago by Mayan and Aztec cultures to boost energy. Because they have a mild, nutty flavor, chia seeds are easy to add to a variety of foods and drinks. When mixed with water they create a gel that’s touted to be a weight-loss pudding that helps control hunger, however studies have yet to confirm this benefit.
How to eat: Sprinkle them in with your oatmeal, smoothie, cereal, salad, rice, or baked goods for an added boost of nutrition and flavor.