Chia Pets have become a health food phenomenon

Chia Pet Kitten

This is a Chia Pet Kitten that can be purchased at many stores as a novelty Christmas gift (Courtesy of 2012).

At first glance at the headline, it probably looks like a joke or just another fad put out by the health food industry to make us laugh.  There was an article published on a local news site that told the truth…Chia seeds really are good for you!  This boggles the mind because so many people have received the Chia Pet as a gag gift since it’s inception in 1977.

Chia (Salvia hispanica), has been harvested (for the seeds) by the Aztecs and is still being grown and collected today by the people of Mexico and Guatemala.  The seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for our natural metabolism.  When the seeds are grown on the Chia Pet, they grow into micro greens and are a good substitution for alfalfa sprouts on sandwiches.

These are the Chia Seeds that are harvested for consumption in a bulk bin at Whole Foods (photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

There are other benefits that come along with the chia seeds.  Do you suffer from Diverticulitis?  Well, chia seeds are a good source of fiber to help prevent it.  Need energy?  Chia seeds are your answer for beneficial proteins that provide a healthy boost of energy all day.

There are recipesout there for people to cook or bake using the seeds as substitution for less butter and oil, adding moisture to baked goods in a healthier way.  Another source to add the seeds to your diet would be to drink Mamma Chia drinks. Mamma Chia’s motto is, “Seed your Soul.”   The drink boasts it has 2000 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, 644 mg of Omega-6 fatty acids, 230 mg of Omega-9 fatty acids, 10 g of fiber, 33 mg of Calcium, and 4 g of protein per serving (1bottle).  Who would have guessed that a bunch of chia seeds would supply that much nutrition?

Mamma Chia Drink

These are just two of the flavors of Mamma Chia drinks available at Whole Foods stores (photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Chia seeds are not just a fad; they are healthy for us to eat.  More and more grocery stores are starting to carry the seeds in bulk or in bags.  It is still an expensive purchase, but well worth the nutritional value.  Since chia seeds are also being grown as micro greens, it wouldn’t be surprising to find them amongst other micro greens at local farmer’s markets.

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