Chia Seed – Ancient Food of Aztec Warriors, Now on Wall Street
3rd January 2013
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
The versatile chia seed has a long history of cultivation and use in Mexico, Central and South America. Warriors of the past have recognized chia’s exceptional energy and stamina supporting attributes. Over the last several years, those wishing to boost vitality have discovered the extraordinary power of this seed as well. Incredibly, even the workers on Wall Street have adopted chia to healthfully promote stamina in lieu of dangerous stimulants.
A member of the mint family, chia has been grown since 2,600 BCE in the southern regions of Mexico. Cultivation spread to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations where it claimed such importance. It was used as currency to pay tribute to the nobility and priesthood. Known as the “running food,” Aztec warriors were exclusively fueled by chia seeds and water during conquests. Due to its high level of easily digestible protein, omega-3 oils, and abundant fiber, chia kept ancient societies healthy and strong.
The rediscovery of chia
The outstanding benefits of chia have also been embraced by present-day health enthusiasts who value potent, nutritionally dense food. Many have used this tiny seed to slim down, gain energy, and increase endurance. Since chia absorbs up to 10 times its weight in water and is an excellent source of fiber, consumption promotes a feeling of satiety, thereby helping one to eat less. Vigor and stamina are enhanced by the high quality protein found in the seed. As an added bonus, chia is a hearty, environmentally friendly crop that is drought and pest resistant.
An unexpected use in an unusual place
As reported by David Sax in Bloomberg Businessweek Lifestyle, a startling craze is sweeping through Wall Street: using chia as an alternative to the usual stimulants of coffee, energy drinks; and, yes, even cocaine. According to the article, chia’s popularity is due to the best selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall about Tarahumara Indian marathon runners who thrive on chia seeds. After reading the book, Dan Gluck and Nick Morris, a manager and trader in New York, began using chia to take advantage of all the nutritional and energy-boosting benefits. Both were so impressed with the results that they began spreading the chia news to friends and coworkers in finance. Soon a trend was born.