I’ve just gotten used to flax seeds as a fiber-rich, heart-healthy addition to baked goods and yogurt. Now, along comes chia seeds. Touted as high in omega-3 fats, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants, chia comes from a Central American plant called Salvia hispanica (a member of the mint family). It was a main component of the Aztec diet in pre-Columbian times, and has recently been “rediscovered,” thanks mainly to a company that is marketing its own specific strain, called Salba, which has been cultivated to enhance the nutritional benefits.
The folks at Salba sent some samples to our office recently, in pouches of ground seeds, as well as baked into tortilla chips. Like flax seeds, the chia is tasteless, so it mainly just adds a nutty crunch to whatever you add it to. I’m not sure the nutritional boost is worth the price (about $12 for 6.4-oz. of the ground seeds), but a spoonful here and there certainly doesn’t hurt.
In an odd bit of seed coincidence, I just read that cranberry seeds are also being touted as “the next super seed.” High in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, cranberry seed oil is also rich in tocotrienols, something so good and necessary to my existence, I’ve never heard of it.
I’ve always been of the belief that it’s best to get my nutrients from real food, as opposed to supplements (no matter how natural they are). But I’m curious if any of you have had good experiences incorporating some of these rediscovered natural wonder foods into your diet?