The first thing that comes to mind when individuals hear about chia seeds may be the chia pet commercials that were popular in 1990s! (Cha, Cha, Cha Chia) While the commercials were no doubt catch, and the plants fun, Chia Seeds have so much more to offer!
Chia seeds are powerhouse seeds, packed with important nutrients. They are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acid. Just 1 tablespoon of chia seeds will provide 19% of the recommended daily fiber intake. Emerging research suggests that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Salvia hispanica seed is often sold under its common name "chia" as well as other trademarked names. Its origin is believed to be in Central America, where the seed was a staple in the ancient Aztec diet.
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared as an ingredient in many dishes. They can be sprinkled on smoothies, salads, oatmeal or yogurt. In Mexico, a dish called chia fresco is made by soaking chia seeds in fruit juice or water. Chia seeds are very absorbent and develop a gelatinous texture when soaked in water or milk, making them easy to mix them into cooked cereal or to make chia seed pudding.
Chia seeds are truly great! Find them for purchase at any health food store, major grocery store and online.