Chia seeds are a true "super-food" and regarded as one of the most nutritionally dense foods known. Information about chia seeds can be found throughout this web site - good places to start are About chia and our Chia recipes section.
We supply whole, raw chia seeds in convenient, resealable packages.
We are also working on an exciting range of chia-based products - stay tuned!
We normally stock black chia seeds. The nutritional differences between black and white seed are minimal, although black seed generally tends to be slightly higher in antioxidants.
Health benefits of chia seeds
The benefits of chia seeds and chia extracts to our health are many, and can be quite dramatic. See below for details of a university study into the effects of Omega-3, plus other details about the health benefits of this super seed!
Read what the University of Maryland Medical Centre says about the benefits of Omega-3.
Clinical evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease...
Omega-3 fatty acids may also be useful in the treatment or prevention of other conditions, including:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
- Bipolar disorder
- Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Some skin disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Macular Degeneration
- Menstrual pain
- Colon cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer
More than Omega-3
While chia is rich in Omega-3, the other nutrients in the seeds can help boost your general health as well. Chia seeds are very high in protein and their high fibre content can improve gastrointestinal health. They are naturally gluten-free (making them an ideal food or ingredient for those with Celiac Disease or other gluten intolerance / gluten sensitivity conditions) and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They may even help some people lose weight, if taken before meals.
Getting our families to eat the right things isnt always easy. Getting them to take fish oil every day to get their Omega-3 can be almost impossible, however chia makes it very easy because the nutrients are in there but you’re the only one who knows!
Just 25 grams per day of chia seeds is enough to receive the right amount of Omega-3 needed to keep a healthy balance - not to mention all the protein, calcium, fibre, iron and other vitamins and minerals chia brings to the table.
By using it in several different recipes you can ensure the children (and adults!) in your family receive the valuable Essential Fatty Acid of Omega-3.
With all the vitamins and minerals that chia gives us, it makes this a true "SUPER FOOD" with unlimited potential in our daily lives.
Join "The Chia Revival" and next time you read an article on the many benefits of Omega-3 you can just smile and know that you and your family are covered, everyday!
Chia seeds and Omega-3
Ancient super-foods - modern nutrition
Used for centuries by the native people of central America, chia seeds are highly versatile and nutritious. High in Omega-3, protein and fibre, they are also a great source of calcium, iron, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Everyone can benefit from adding chia to their diet, including you - whether you are an active younger person or an active older person (or want to be!). Even professional sportspeople and athletes have discovered the benefits of chia.
At Tribal Harvest we use the highest quality chia seeds to produce a range of nutritious all-natural products. We source seed from its native lands in Mexico as well countries such as Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay.
History of chia (Salvia hispanica)
Chia has a rich history as an ancient food of the Mayan, Aztec and Southwest Native American people. Not only used as a staple food in their diet - along with corn, beans and amaranth - it was also offered to their gods. Chia was so valued that it was used in ceremonies and also as currency to pay taxes.
Roasted and ground, chia was used as a flour called pinole. Native people have used chia seeds for wounds, colds and sore throats, upset stomaches, body odors, prostate problems, and even constipation. To some it became known as the ”Indian Running Food” - not because of the high fibre content, but because it is a high-energy endurance food that was used by the Aztecs on long journeys.
When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Americas they dramatically changed all aspects of the native peoples lives and culture, including outlawing their religious practices. As part of their quest to "civilise" the natives and convert them to Christianity, important crops such as chia and aramanth were banned. Secretly, however, many continued to grow and use chia.
Growing wild, chia was harvested and used as before until around the 1960s - 1980s, when health conscious people started hearing about a "super food" from the desert used by the Mexicans and the Indians. Vegetarians were attracted to the seed, in part by its high protein content. Word slowly spread, and new chia farms were established as demand grew.
Chia is now used throughout Mexico and grown by locals of every village. Mixed with water, lemon or lime and a little honey, the seeds make a refreshing drink called "chia fresca" used to quench thirst under the hot Central American sun.
Now chia is grown throughout Central and South America where it has been grown for thousands of years. The amazing properties of this seed are no longer a secret - you can benefit too! Add chia to your diet today and feel the difference.
Chia seed is a versatile and nutrient-rich food that is gluten-free, subtle in flavour and easily digested. Its rich nutritional profile makes it a valuable addition to any diet, including vegetarians and vegans. People who are already on a healthy diet can still benefit from chias high Omega-3 content.
Chia seeds contain oil amounts varying between 32-39%, with the oil offering the highest natural percentage of Omega-3 essential fatty acid known to man (60-64%). In contrast, soybean oil and canola oil contain less than 10% of this essential Omega-3 fatty acid. Chia seeds are a very rich source of Omega-3 EFA.
Chia has three times more iron than spinach, and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli.
|NUTRITION INFORMATION - CHIA SEEDS
Average per 100 g
|Fat, total||31.5 g|
|Trans-Fatty Acid||0 mg|
|Omega-3 ALA||19.8 g|
|Omega-6 LA||5.8 g|
|Carbohydrate, total||42.1 g|
|Niacin (B3)||5.97 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.12 mg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.21 mg|
|All figures are averages / samples, and subject to variation according to season and growing location.|
Chia seeds also are rich in the beneficial long-chain triglycerides that help maintain the proper wall flexibility of cells and restore the proper cholesterol / triglyceride ratio. Your body converts the alpha-linolenic Omega-3 of chia into DHA and EPA fatty acids like those found in fish oil.
Chia seeds are powerful source of the antioxidants chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid as well as myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol flavonols that protect delicate essential fatty acids from oxidation. Unlike other sources of Omega-3 oils (e.g., flax, hemp, or fish), chia doesnt require refrigeration or the artificial or natural added antioxidants such as vitamins in order to remain fresh.
Chia has 19 to 23% protein content, more than that found in traditional cereals such as wheat (13.7%), corn (9.4%), rice (6.5%), oatmeal (16.9%) and barley (12.5%). Chia’s protein is complete with all essential amino acids and is gluten-free.
Chia seeds are easily digested and they absorb more than 9 times their weight in water. When the seeds are mixed with water they form a gel and researchers believe this gel-forming happens in the stomach. When chia seeds are eaten they slowly release carbohydrates and slow conversion of carbs into glucose (blood sugar) for energy. The outer part of the seed is very rich in soluble fibre and this forms the gel, protecting the seed from drying out.
The gel forms a physical barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. The carbohydrates are digested eventually, but at a slow and uniform rate. There is no insulin surge or spike needed to lower the blood sugar level after eating chia. The water-retaining ability of the gel also helps level out the water intake and retains electrolyte balance.
Chia seeds contain around 6 times more calcium than milk by weight (550-700 mg in 100 g of chia compared to 120 mg in 100 g milk) and chia’s calcium is more readily absorbed by the body than milk. Its also an excellent source of certain minerals, notably phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper. Chia has three times more iron than spinach, and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli.
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