Native to Mexico and Guatemala, these tiny white, dark brown or black seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and easy to incorporate into our diet. High in healthy omega-3 fats, fiber and a variety of minerals and micro-nutrients including calcium, iron and essential amino acids that assist in various functions including the break down food, bodily growth and tissue repair. Health claims are widely published: an energy booster, stabilization of blood sugar and an aid to lowering cholesterol but should be read with caution as scientific trials are limited. That said, chia seeds are around 400 calories per 100g but these are good quality calories; the Aztecs grew chia as a cereal crop, the seeds roasted before being ground to make into cakes or mixed with water to produce a filling, gelatinous porridge. Used regularly and in sensible moderation, sprinkle a teaspoon of chia seeds over breakfast cereal, pasta, sauces, yogurts and smoothies to boost nutrients though if you really catch the bug, try adding to cake batter and cookie dough; with a mild, slight nutty flavour these seeds can be used just about anywhere and are widely available online or from health food stores.

Chia seeds aren’t particularly cheap, a 250g pack costs €11 at my local health food store but this amount should last long enough to feel worthwhile. Beware of buying cheaper red seeds (immature), very tiny black (seeds of the weed) or cheap imports, often Chinese that aren’t likely to have the same nutritional benefits.