Do you remember Chia Pets? They became popular back in the 1980s following the 1982 release of a ram, the first widely marketed Chia Pet. This was an American styled  terracotta figurine used to sprout chia seeds, which grow within a couple of weeks to resemble the animal’s fur or hair. Moistened seeds of chia (Salvia hispanica) are applied to the grooved terra cotta figurine body. The catchphrase sung in the TV commercial as the plant grows in time lapse was “Ch-ch-ch-chia!” As of 2007, approximately 500,000 Chia Pets were sold annually. And continue to sell. There’s even one of Britney Spears!

A better place for chia seeds is in your tummy. For the past four months, I’ve been adding a handful to my morning mix of granola, raisin bran, and milk. The milk makes them swell a little. They add a bit of a nutty taste, though that doesn’t quite describe it. You can also add them to smoothies.

Promoted as an ancient superfood, chia seeds date back 500 years to the Aztecs. Loaded with Omega 3 oils, protein, fiber, calcium and other nutrients, chia seeds are a complete food according to Self Nutrition Data. They also play a significant role in healthy brain function and lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and arthritis. A warning for any nutritional food, including chia, is that moderation is a key to avoid possible disadvantages.

Wellness, an online health resource, warns on the use of chia seeds for people with low blood pressure or taking medications for heart conditions, to avoid additive effects. It also warns that individuals taking blood thinners may have an increased bleeding risk. Chia also may alter the way the liver breaks down medications, which can lead to ineffectiveness of the drug.

I didn’t know that! Typical me, to jump in and try something and then find out later. Thank goodness I don’t taken any medications. Phew!


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