Dr. Oz Recommends Chia Seeds
Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25-30% extractable oil, including α-linolenic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white.
How to Prepare chia Seeds
Chia seed may be eaten raw as a whole seed, providing protein, fats and fiber. Ground chia seed is sometimes added to pinole, a coarse flour made from toasted maize kernels. Chia seeds placed in water or fruit juice are consumed in Mexico and known as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture and are used in gruels, porridges and puddings. Ground chia seed is used in baked goods including breads, cakes and biscuits.
Chia sprouts are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads, sandwiches and other dishes.
Chia Seeds Health Benefits
In a one ounce (28 g) sample, dried chia seeds contain 9% of the Daily Value for protein (4g), 13% fat (9g) (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fiber (11g), based on a daily intake of 2000 calories. The seeds also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium in amounts comparable to other edible seeds, such as flax or sesame.
Where to Buy Chia Seeds
Dr Oz Says
Chia Pets may have no apparent purpose, but chia seed? Now, that’s something to get excited about. Chia—a harvested, unprocessed, nutty-tasting, nutrient-dense whole grain with omega-3 fatty acids—has among the highest antioxidant activity of any whole food, outdistancing even fresh blueberries. One study showed that 30 grams of chia seed taken with bread decreased the sharp blood sugar spike seen an hour after eating. Another study showed that chia lowers blood pressure and the risk of heart problems. My recommendation: two daily doses of about 20 grams of seeds each.