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Chia seeds were a key part of the diet and culture of ancient civilizations, including the Aztecs, Incans, and Mayans. The tarahumara and Chumash people in Mexico would create a 'running food' by roasting, crushing, and mixing the seed with water to make a gel. Chia seeds are a strong vegetarian source of omega fatty acids, protein, calcium, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and soluble fiber. The slightly crunchy seeds absorb liquid and swell up to form a gel that helps to support hydration and gives a feeling of fullness. Sprinkle the mild nutty-flavored seeds into smoothies, oatmeal, granola, cereal, and yogurt, or use them as a thickener.