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for Life - Caribbean -Chia Seeds
.Salvia hispanica, commonly known as Chia, is an erect,
branched herb with bright green, ovate, pointed leaves that
can grow up to 1.2m x 0.4m. In summer, blue flowers are
produced in dense racemes at the end of each stem. The flowers
are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). Salvia
hispanica is adaptable to most well drained soils and prefers
a protected, sunny position.
Today Salvia hispanica is grown commercially for its extremely
nutritious seeds — it is a high protein, high energy food
with enzyme action (aiding in food digestion). Salvia hispanica
seed typically contains 20% protein, 34% oil, 25% dietary fibre
(mostly soluble with high molecular weight), amino acids and significant
levels of antioxidants (chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin,
quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols). The oil is very rich in omega-3,
6 and 9 essential fatty acids — the same Omega 3 fats that
are found in ocean fish and eggs. The seeds yield 25-30% extractable
oil, mostly a-linolenic acid (ALA).
Seeds can be eaten raw (just like sunflower seeds and nuts) Ground
Salvia hispanica seed can be made into flour (usually in a mix with
other cereal flours)
Salvia hispanica seed is a thirst quencher and survival food. One
tablespoon of seed is sufficient to sustain a person doing hard
labour for 24 hours.
Salvia hispanica reduces blood glucose levels and helps to regulate
blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease in diabetics.
They calculated that 100g of Salvia hispanica seeds contain:
- The same amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids as 28 ounces
- As much calcium as 3 cups of milk;
- As much iron as five cups of raw spinach.
- Salvia hispanica seed is also rich in dietary fibre and it is
- Just 12 grams of seed provides more than five grams of dietary
fibre - about the same as in 1-¼ cups of All-Bran cereal.
- They found that the seeds contain high levels of magnesium and
more antioxidants than many berries.
Dr. Vuksan's study tracked 20 otherwise healthy diabetic patients
for 12 weeks. His team ground the seeds into flour and baked it
into bread, which was served to the diabetics. They were also given
additional amounts to sprinkle on food they ate at home. Their total
intake was approximately 37 grams (three to four tablespoons of
Salvia hispanica seeds) a day.
The 20 diabetics then had their blood measured for a variety of
Information sourced from http://herbgarden.co.za
- The researchers noted a slight drop in blood glucose
- More importantly, the seeds made their blood thinner and less
prone to clotting - a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke;
- Lowered levels of internal inflammation as measured by C-reactive
protein, a protein produced by the liver.
- Reduced blood pressure, lowering systolic blood pressure, on
average, by six points mmHg (millimetres of mercury).