Central America: Chia
Chia seeds were originally cultivated by the Aztecs in Central America and prized for their dense nutritional profile. They are a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids and are an excellent plant source of omega-3s. Chia is also high in dietary fibre, which slows digestion and helps with blood sugar regulation and weight maintenance.
Some preliminary research has shown that omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, found in chia and other seeds, can reduce inflammation in our lymph nodes, helping them to function more effectively and drain lymph fluid more efficiently.
Chia seeds are great sprinkled on a salad or blended into a morning smoothie.
For a delicious morning alternative to oatmeal, try incorporating chia in your diet with this fun recipe.
Soak 125 ml (1/2 cup) chia seeds in 500 ml (2 cups) of hemp milk with 5 ml (1 tsp) of cinnamon and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of vanilla extract (or more to taste) for a delicious and healthy treat. For a tropical kick, add a tablespoon of coconut extract. The same recipe can be used as a moisturizing face mask as well!
Explore the aisles of your local CHFA Member health food store for a variety of products containing Chia seeds.