Ask our health expert, Pamela Allardice

Ask our health expert, Pamela Allardice Health and wellness advice Natural health expert Pamela Allardice gives you alternative solutions to your everyday health problems. Read through our archives or ask Pamela to help with your health query today!

What are chia seeds?

Thursday, July 15, 2010
What are chia seeds?

Question: I've been hearing a lot lately about chia seeds, what are they are how can they be used?

What are they?
Chia seeds are the ripe seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica which is native to Mexico. They are available in two varieties: black, which naturally contains a combination of black, grey and white seeds; and white, which is produced by selecting only the white seeds. Both varieties have similar nutritional qualities.

Nutrition
Chia seeds are a great plant source of the omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid. Modern diets generally have an abundance of omega-6 over omega-3; chia helps balance this with an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of 3:2. Chia seeds are also a good source of fibre and protein and contain good levels of the bone minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. They have a high antioxidant activity and are low-GI.

Buying and storing
Chia seeds can be found in breads at selected supermarkets or bakeries and in whole seed form at most health food stores. Chia seeds are also marketed under trademark names such as Salba and Tresalbio.

Because of the high levels of antioxidants chia seeds will keep for up to two years without becoming rancid. No need to refrigerate, simply store in a dry place.

Using
Easily incorporate Chia seeds into your diet by eating as a snack or by adding to your bread, muffins and baking or by sprinkling on cereals or salads. Chia is also often used as a gel and added to smoothies, juice and yoghurts. Simply mix one tablespoon to one cup water and allow to sit until a gel forms.

Your say: Have you heard of chia seeds? Do you use them? How do you use them? Share with us below.

comments powered by Disqus
Features
Pictures

'I Touch Myself' cancer campaign.

‘I Touch Myself’ breast cancer campaign Olivia Newton-John, Kate Ceberano and other female artists have covered Chrissy Amphlett’s famous... More >

IVF woman pregnant with wrong babies.

IVF patient pregnant with wrong embryos A woman is pregnant with another couple's twins after a fertility clinic mix-up. More >

House & Garden Quick Quote

Weekly newsletter

Recipes in your inbox We send you the latest recipes from the Weekly plus all the week's best bits to your inbox.
Sign up now >