chiaseesIf you have not quite yet jumped on the chia seed bandwagon, now might be a good time to get on board.  Once just a food trend, Chia seeds are now being called a “super food,” getting the honor of being a part of an elite group of sustenance that includes: kale, salmon, beets, lentils and acai berries. (Remember those little suckers from a few years back? Oprah was all about acai.) If these super foods were a special forces unit then chia seeds would be the explosives guy named Wes and would probably be played by Channing Tatum.

Dating back to the ancient Aztec and Mayan culture (chia is the Mayan word for “strength”), chia seeds were originally digested for stamina and energy, which makes sense in a time before Red Bulls. And in case you were wondering if chia seeds are the same as the ones in those Chia Pet commercials that were so popular a few decades ago – bingo. They are the exact same thing. So if you feel the need to start singing “Ch- ch-ch-chia” while you consume these little bad boys then no one will fault you for that.

Of course, health fads come and go (carb-free chocolate, anyone?) but it is pretty obvious that chia seeds are the real deal. Few people are coming out claiming chia seeds are a fraud or gimmick.

Many even say they can help you lose weight. Is that true? Meh-be. Chia seed producers claim that because the seeds expand in your belly, they help you feel more full and ultimately make you eat less. All that is technically true; unfortunately, there have been only a few studies concerning weight loss and chia seeds, so the jury is still out. They are, however, super rich in Omega-3’s as well as fiber, calcium and anti-oxidants. Basically chia seeds have the same health properties as flax seeds but you don’t have to grind them – suck on that flax seed! So while chia seeds won’t necessarily rib up your abs it will make your inside healthy, and although that’s not as sexy, it is still pretty damn good.

There are a variety of ways to ingest chia seeds. They have a subtle, nutty flavor that goes well in sweet or savory dishes. They are great blended into smoothies and juice, can be sprinkled into yogurt or on to pancakes, and can even be tossed into a salad or any rice dish. You can also cook with them as they can be used in puddings, jams, salsas and can be even used to replace eggs. It’s the vegan’s best friend, which is really nice because we all know vegans don’t have many friends.

But if you really want to show your stuff, if you really want to impress your friends and family, if you really want to be a man, you will simply add them to water. Now, putting chia seeds in water and drinking them is tough. REALLY TOUGH. It is like drinking a glassful of congealed baby boogers. They get super slimy when in water because they have nothing really to combine to – except each other. And combine they do, into a slimy, gelatinous glob. And because there is no taste in a chia seed water cocktail, that sliminess is at the forefront. So you either have to continue stirring them as you drink or just bite the bullet and down it all in one fast gulp. Either way it is a completely unpleasant and downright horrific experience. You even might regret consuming chia seeds in the first place. Do it anyway.

Anything that slimy has just got to be good for you.