Chia Seed Profile
Also known as
Salvia hispanica, California Chia, California Sage, Chia Pet Seed, and Chia Sage.
When we think of Chia seeds, invariably an image comes to mind of the Chia Pet a clay figurine with Chia sprouts for hair. However, most of us do not realize that Chia seed is highly nutritious, medicinal, and it has been used for centuries for its beneficial properties. Chia was a staple for Incan, Mayan, and Aztec cultures. “Chia” is even the Mayan word for “strength”, and Chia seeds used to be referred to as "Indian Running Food" because they are so energizing. Apache and Aztec warriors sustained themselves by bringing the seeds along while on conquests, Aztecs used Chia as a legal tender, Indians of the southwest depended upon them during long trading expeditions, and they were also used by the Indians and missionaries as a poultice for gunshot wounds and other injuries. Today, Chia seed is being rediscovered and embraced as a “superfood”, and it is quickly becoming popular among nutritionists and herbalists alike.
Essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, 30% protein, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, silicon, and anti-oxidants.
The seeds raw, cooked, or sprouted.
1-4 Tablespoons of the raw seeds may be used per day, mixing them into water, juice, or a smoothie.
Chia seeds can be ground into a powder and added to smoothies, used in baking or cooking, or substituted for Flax seeds in recipes. They have a pleasant nutty flavor.
The sprouted seeds can be added to salads and sandwiches.
One of the most common ways to consume Chia seeds is to make a Chia gel. To make Chia gel, place 1/3 cup Chia seeds into a sealable container, add 2 cups of water, and whisk briskly. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and then whisk again before placing into the refrigerator. The mixture will turn into a gel, and will last up to 3 weeks if refrigerated. The recommended dosage is 3 Tablespoons 3 times per day, and the gel may be incorporated into jam, cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or any other foods for consumption. One pound of Chia seeds will make approximately 24 cups of gel, which will last over a month if consumed at the recommended amount of 3 tablespoons of gel 3 times per day.
Touted as being the new 'superfood', Chia seeds are high in easily digestible protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, soluble fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Chia seeds readily dissolve into the water, creating a substance that looks like gelatin. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed. Chia seed has hydrophilic properties, and can absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water.
There is currently no evidence of adverse effects of whole or ground Chia seeds. As with any dietary supplement consult your healthcare practitioner before using this product, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or under medical supervision.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.