Chia is a rediscovered forgotten crop of the Aztecs. It was one of four main Aztec crops at the time of Columbus' arrival in the new world, and offers the highest omega-3 fatty acid content available from plants. Pre-Columbian civilizations used Chia as a raw material for medicines and nutritional compounds, and valued it as a source of energy on long journeys.
Supposedly, one tablespoon of the chia seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions. So a natural attraction to us in the field of Rheumatology, supporting our efforts to incorporate non-pharmacological measures in our treatment regimens. Because it is a soluble fiber some report a feeling of satiety, decreased appetite and subsequent weight loss. Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family.
For years we have recommended Flaxseed and Omega-3's to our patients to supplement their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory regimens, hoping for optimal absorption and bioavailability.
Chia seeds differ from Flaxseed in that they can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid and they don't require grinding. Chia is superior to other plant and marine sources of omega-3 and it has the highest known percentage of alpha-linoleic acid.
It is low in sodium, high in protein, lipids, fiber and antioxidants, has fewer carbohydrates than most other grains and it is an excellent source for athletic endurance. It is also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and copper. And yet another feature it has no taste or smell.
The Chia can be substituted for wheat germ or flaxseed.
Try ~ 5 tablespoons in a fruit or vegetable smoothie. A favorite book that I like for different smoothies combination is "60 Age Defying Smoothie Recipes:
Two Smooth Months to a Better You" at www.divasdiets.com, click Diva Healthstore.
I think I got it for $20. I was able to lose 40 pounds from the smoothies & chia in two months.
Demetrice Morrison, RD LD/N MHSA,Registered Dietitian