The chia seed has white or purple flowers and comes from the same family as the mint, the Lamiaceae family. This annual herb is native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala and was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times. It was so valued that it was given as an annual tribute by the people to the rulers. It was a staple to the Aztec being the third most important crop behind maize and beans, and ahead of amaranth. Tribute and taxes to the Aztec priesthood and nobility were often paid in chia seeds. It is still used in Mexico and Guatemala, with the seeds sometimes ground, or whole seeds used for nutritious drinks and as a food source. Chia seeds typically contain 20% protein, 34% oil, 25% dietary fibre (both insoluble and soluble) with significant levels of antioxidants, quercetin (bioflavanoid) and contains no gluten with trace levels of sodium. Chia seeds contain very high levels of omega-3, however one must chew or grind the seeds to obtain the omega 3 content. in fact, the oil from chia seeds contains a very high concentration of omega 3 fatty acid – approximately 64%.  The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in gruels, porridges and puddings. These humble seeds can also be sprouted and are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes. A common way to use chia seeds is to soak 1 part chia seeds to 9 parts water, for 5-10 minutes. The water will turn gelatinous. Either drink as is, or add to smoothies, juices etc.