Originally cultivated in Mexico, these sees were prized by the Aztecs, Inca, and Mayans for their nutritional and medicinal properties. They were a preferred food of both Aztec warriors and Mayan runners. No wonder “chia” is the Mayan word for strength. Not only do chia seeds pack plenty of protein, Omega-3s, antioxidants, magnesium and fiber, they also have a unique gelling property that makes them an outstanding vegetarian and gluten-free thickening agent in soups, smoothies and sauces. They’re delicious sprinkled on salads, mixed in baked goods, enjoyed in a hearty trail mix, or as an energizing addition to açaí bowls.