Native Village
Youth and Education news
 APRIL 1, 2010 Volume 3

Chia Seeds: An Ancient American Super Food
Condensed by Native Village

We’ve all heard of chia pets, but did you know the tiny black seed that grows into chia “fur” is a nourishing food crop?

Chia is an annual plant with a square stem, oval leaves and small blue flowers. It is often grown between rows of corn and thrives at high altitudes.

While Chia seeds may be expensive (around $20 per pound), one pound supplies a month’s worth of breakfasts. It takes about 800,000 seeds to make up a pound.

Chia Seed Facts

The name "chia" comes from "chiabaan," a Mayan word that means “strengthening."
The Aztecs cultivated it and even used it as money
Native peoples in America's Southwest used chia seeds for endurance. They could run swiftly on a handful of chia seeds and a gourd of water.
Chia seeds are a favorite of athletes today.
They help lubricate the body and joints.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which builds your immune system and helps brain function.
They are 20% protein on a dry weight basis.
They are rich in vitamin B complex, biotin, calcium, potassium and fiber.

They help regulate blood sugar levels.
They are an excellent food for losing weight. A small amount makes you feel full.

Moistened chia seeds serve as a poultice to treat wounds and draw out infection.
Chia seed oil had been used in cosmetics and as a wood preservative.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber and help with constipation.
Chia has been used as a superfood for cats, dogs and chickens.
Chia seeds have a long shelf life and are slow to oxidize.


Chia Recipes:

Prepare: Soak 1/4 cup chia seeds in 2 cups water overnight. Stir well to prevent clumping.  Add more water if needed.
Store leftover seeds in the refrigerator for several days.

Breakfast: Add chopped apples, a handful of raisins, blueberries, chopped nuts, honey.
Dessert: Add chocolate and banana and nuts.

Chia: It's not just for pets anymore!


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