These tiny seeds won’t make you sprout muscles, but they can deliver big benefits. Packed with calcium, iron and magnesium, they’re also high in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, says Vladimir Vuksanm, PhD, a professor in medicine and nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. He has studied the effects of chia in both healthy and diabetic people. “Chia seeds seem to have cardio-protective properties and can assist in stabilising your blood sugar.”
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An ounce (28g) is 138 calories and provides 10g of fibre, 5g of protein and 5g of omega-3s. Popular in Central America since Aztec times, these nutty-tasting seeds (known botantically as Salvia hispanica L.) are now widely available at supermarkets. Sprinkle them into salads, mix them into yoghurt or blend them into your post-workout shakes.