Chia is an annual herb that belongs to the mint family. It is popularly known from the “Chia Pet” products. When moistened the chia seeds will stick to surfaces where they can then germinate. Chia grows up to 1 meter (3 feet) and will produce white or purple flowers. Nutritionally, chia is an amazing superfood. The Aztecs called chia the “running food” because of the energy it provided them. It is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. The seeds are often used in cereals, baked goods, and even added to drinks. The seeds can also be eaten raw.
Chia can be easily sprouted to grow nutritious micro-greens. No soaking of the seeds us required and the harvest can be from 5-14 days.
Chia (Salvia Hispanica) is an annual plant. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Plant the seeds in moist, well-draining soil with a pH around 5.5 to 6. It will tolerate drought conditions. Surface sow or lightly cover seeds with soil. Keep soil moist but never soggy. Once the chia has sprouted and has at least two sets of leaves you can let it dry out more between waterings.
Chia Seeds Health Benefits
- Supports a healthy heart – it’s an amazing source of omega 3.
- Has anti-inflammatory properties.
- The swelling action of the seeds helps to keep the digestive system regular, and it absorbs and eliminates toxins.
- Chia seeds are 20% protein that is a higher quality than grains or rice.
- A great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
The benefits of chia seeds are many, as it is a nutritional powerhouse. It is a very easy food to add to your meals in subtle ways. If you are looking to eat healthier, adding chia seeds to your diet is the way to start. Athletes and bodybuilders will also benefit greatly from chia seeds.
How to Eat Chia Seeds
There is very little taste or smell to chia seeds. The seeds can be added to your oatmeal or the seeds themselves can be made into a porridge. Just add enough water to get the consistency that you would like. You can sprinkle the seeds on salads or even blend them up with a protein shake or smoothie. Since the seeds don’t really have much of a taste it’s best to add them in with other foods.