ORIGIN: not EU
Obtained from the Salvia Hispanica plant that grows wild in Mexico and the Andean regions, Chia seeds are widespread and used throughout Central and South America, where they were known already at the time of pre-Columbian civilisations. However, only recently these seeds have been introduced into western food as a result of evidence of their nutritional virtues.
The properties of Chia seeds are many: in addition to presenting a significant content of vitamins, minerals and proteins, it is one of the richest seeds of essential fatty acids, beneficial for the prevention of diseases related to the cardiovascular system. Similarly to flax seeds, chia seeds’ main characteristic is the presence of mucilages, complex carbohydrates that play a soothing action on the tissues of the intestine and stimulate motility thanks to their ability to absorb water and swell. Chia seeds are also often used in diets and detoxification cycles.
Very small, crisp and with a somewhat neutral flavour, Chia seeds can be added to the breakfast muësli, fruit and vegetable smoothies or accompanied with cereals and other seeds for a healthy and nutritious snack during the day. They can be among the ingredients for the home-made preparation of wholemeal bread, used as a condiment mainly for salads, or as a decorative but nutritious element on paté and fresh vegetables canapes.