Salvia Hispanica, Spanish Saliva? Yes, It’s Also The Living Part Of Those Hilarious Hairy Pottery Pets

chia-pet-2-pig

Original Chia Pet Pig

chiapetsasprtment

Updated Chia Pet Assortment Pack

What once was a laughable gag gift from the 80’s has become a marketing super food in 2013. Salvia hispanica is the tiny chia seed, a member of the mint family.

chiaseeds

Whole Chia Seeds

This seed was used thousands of years ago as food by the Mayans. Chia is the Mayan word for strength. The Aztecs planted this seed not only as a staple food, but medicinally for saliva stimulation and joint pain.

Chia has very subtle nut-like flavor that combines with almost any food. When the seeds are ground up, nutrients are more biologically available to the body. Just one ounce of seeds has 11 grams of fiber. This allows chia to swell up to 12 times its size when combined with fluids. It can be used as a thickening agent or a binder. It makes satiety last a whole lot longer by creating a gelatinous mass in your stomach. That is why the seeds, when wet, easily glue to the pottery, later germinating that crazy hair.  The seed also has 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat per ounce. Minerals like calcium, phosphorous and manganese are high representing 18%, 27% and 30% respectively of the recommended daily intake contained in one ounce.

The fat is high in omega-3 fatty acids with the seeds being up to 30% oil. In Nahuatl (Mexican dialect), chian, means oily. Compared to flax-seed chia is the hands up winner. First, chia has higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also rich in antioxidants so it won’t go rancid as fast as flax-seed. Another advantage is that chia does not need to be ground up like flax. Although, absorption of nutrients is improved if chia is pulverized first, before consumption.

In Mexico as well as central America, they mix chia and sugar with acidic juices (pineapple, lime and lemon) to create a drink called, “chia fresca”. You can mix chia seed in smoothies, burger mixes, with cereal, in making baked goods (replacing a small amount of the flour), in yogurt and on salads. You can feed it to animals like cattle and chicken. This enriches the meat and also the milk and eggs with omega-3 fatty acids. Many of the major food major food manufacturers are getting on the bandwagon and mixing chia seed in some of their foods. Dole Food Company is using the seed in its Nutrition Plus products which include whole seeds, ground seeds, seed packs and chia-fruit cluster bars.

chiajuice

Mamma Chia Juices

A food company called Mamma Chia puts out fruit juices with suspended chia seeds. They are sold in Whole Foods, Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons. So chia is growing rapidly in popularity.

I think it’s a worthwhile product to try in your diet. So many benefits of chia seed such as quality nutritional content, keeping  you fuller longer, versatile to mix with anything on the menu and easy to find organically. Bugs hate this plant so growers generally don’t use pesticides in the fields.

Mr. T Chia

Think They Give Mr. T His Royalties In Chia Seeds?

Worse case scenario, you join a ceramic club and make dozens of Mr. T heads for Christmas gifts. You include the chia seeds with written directions on “how you pity the fool” with this type of hair! The A-Team would never accept this type of promotional behavior. I can just see him on TV in the near future selling reverse mortgages.

Benbernakechiapet

Green Facial Hair Is More Real Than The Money Ben Prints!

Would be a great St. Patrick’s Day Gift! What about some hair on that head? Remember you can apply chia seeds anywhere and they will stick and grow.



Categories: Food, Health, Weight Loss

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