Every year the market for nutritious food seems to have a new fashion – like acai, kombucha and wheat grass juice. Many types of food – from foreign seeds to yogurt loaded with bacteria – have passed through the tables of those who seek a healthier life style. Now a new Latin American spice was added to this list of “superfoods” that promise to increase longevity. They are the seeds of chia, also known as “Salvia Hispanic L” or “Chia” is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily.
The food belongs to the mint family and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. The plant grows in a few days, but nutritionists are more interested in their tiny seeds. The seeds are rich in antioxidants and minerals, and have more omega 3 than salmon and more fiber than flax feeds. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25–30% extractable oil, including α-linolenic acid (ALA).