Chia Seeds – Not Just a Novelty Product
Anyone who grew up in the United States in the Eighties is familiar with the product Chia Pet. The Chia Pet had the memorabletag line of “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!” It consisted of a clay figurine of a ram, and the owner would add water to the seeds provided and spread them over the figurine. Over time, the chia plants would grow, making it appear as though the ram had grown a woolly green coat. While Chia Pet may be a cultural icon, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only good use for chia seeds. In fact, these seeds have many other uses.
Chia seeds are grown for many different uses. In Mexico, where they originated, they are used in everything from bread and biscuits to gruels and puddings. They can be added to drinks to act as a thickening agent, since they tend to gain a gelatinous texture when soaked in liquid. But its uses aren’t limited to culinary applications. In fact, the reason that these little seeds are growing in popularity all over the world is that they’re such a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain plenty of protein and fiber, so it delivers a lot of nutrition even in small doses.
But their omega-3 fatty acid content is what makes chia seeds all the rage today. These unsaturated fatty acids are believed to have cancer-fighting properties, as well as having a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, immune function, neurology, and inflammation. The more of these fatty acids you take in, the better health you’ll be in. Omega-3 fatty acids can slow tumor growth, improve cancer patients’ appetites, and contribute to their general quality of life. It’s no wonder that the medical community and government departments including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all been singing the praises of omega-3 fatty acids.
The only problem is that it’s most commonly found in fish or fish oil. This presents a particular problem for people who don’t like fish or for vegans and vegetarians. Fortunately, chia seeds provide an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and are easy to incorporate into your diet. You can find chia supplements and take them in capsule form. You can purchase them and incorporate them into soups and stews. You can bake them into bread. It’s easy to add a little chia to your life.