Chia seed is the dried edible seeds of Salvia hispanica which is a perennial flowering plant in the cactus family, or of the mint family, native to central and south Mexico. Chia seeds are small, oval and black with white and black spots, with a diameter of around 2 centimetres. The flower heads have a cream-colored silk stigma, which features an obvious red and black flower head. The flower heads have fuschia blooms and last for about 3 weeks. These fuschia flowers are highly volatile and can be smoked. In fact, Chia seeds have been used as medicine in some countries where smoking is prohibited.
The health benefits of consuming chia seeds may stem from their high soluble fiber content that help bind with water and thus prevents constipation. High fiber foods help people lose weight because they do not fill stomachs rapidly. Although it is believed that the soluble fiber in chia seed is more nutritious than other sources of fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, consuming chia seeds may aid in weight loss as they have a high water binding capacity that reduces the likelihood of dehydration and bloating.
Aztec legend claims that the use of chia seeds dates back to pre-tec times. Aztecs used to chew on the seeds to relieve pain from injuries. There are also reports of their use being beneficial in helping to treat asthma, as well as improving the functioning of the digestive system. Aztec doctors were the first ones to discover the usefulness of chia seeds in relieving coughs and other respiratory problems; they were so impressed with their properties that they began to include them in their cures for such conditions, calling them “maize medicines” (machines of maize).
Other countries also began to include chia pet products in their diet plans as well. In India for instance, the Ayurvedic treatment guide of ancient Ayurveda texts lists it as one of its main remedies. “Aztec corn” or “chia pet” was used in sacrifice offerings and was considered very helpful in making the sick more healthy. Moreover, this “superfood” has many other healing powers; it contains omega – 3 fatty acids, folic acid, calcium, silica, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, and manganese, among other nutrients and vitamins.
Some of the ingredients found in chia pet meals and supplements include: ALA, alkaline phytes, antioxidants, beta-carotene, biotin, fiber, calcium, conjugated linoleic acid, probiotics, omega – 3 fatty acids, sodium, and zinc. Most of these ingredients are commonly found in the traditional foods of United States and some in that of Mexico too. It is also believed that chia pets have the same healing properties as human beings because of its highly nutritious and all natural ingredients. Some of its benefits include: boosting metabolism, strengthening the immune system, reducing arthritis pain, and improving eyesight.
Chia Seeds is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for the maintenance and production of the human cell membranes. These are also essential for cell to cell communication and help regulate the heartbeat rate. Omegas in particular have been proven to prevent heart attacks and high blood pressure. In addition, DHA is also known to promote cardiovascular health and bone health. Lastly, chia seeds help to lower cholesterol levels and improve the function of the digestive system.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds help to make the immune system stronger and healthier. It reduces cell inflammation, which leads to less redness and pain during massage therapy. Also, these are great for promoting better eye health. For those who have undergone eye surgery, the omega-3 fatty acids present in chia seeds can help to reduce the risk of eye infection and other eye problems caused by poor eye hygiene.
Chia seeds have been used for thousands of years in the Andes Mountains by Inca Indians. Because of their soothing, healing properties, the seeds have been widely used in healing the wounds and other ailments related to the feet and lower body. As a result, this herb has also been used in alternative medicine. Chia Seed Oil is extracted from the seeds of this succulent green plant. The oil extracted from Chia Seeds is highly concentrated and should not be combined with any other oils.