Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds come from America, and are mainly found in Mexico, south west USA and Bolivia etc. These tiny little seeds have a high content of essential fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Most importantly chia seeds are an excellent vegetarian source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. Chia seeds are good source of calcium and protein for our tissues. Its nutrients are also good for our brains to function properly.

Because of EU Regulation on nutrition and health – Chia seeds have been accepted as novel foods, and can be ONLY consumed as an ingredient for baked goods with max. 5%. Please note we are not responsible for different usage (other than EU approved way) of these seeds

History

The chia plant originates from South and Central America, where it was first cultivated for human use over 4,000 years ago by the Aztecs, Mayans and other native American tribes who relied on the seed as a staple food crop, as well as appreciating its positive effects on energy, endurance and general well-being. Chia seeds were eaten whole, ground into flour, pressed to release a rich, nutritious oil and used in traditional medicines.

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Chia seed was highly valued by these ancient civilisations, and traded as a form of currency as well as being used in religious offerings and burial ceremonies. Chia plants were also grown in the ‘floating gardens’ of the Aztec emperors -woven rafts strung over shallow lakes surrounding the city, which contained only the most prized food crops and decorative plants.

The chia plant is an annual crop and grows quickly producing seed for harvest within a year of being planted, It is widespread across central America, and can be found growing wild in sandy desert soils and remote mountainous areas below 2,500 metres altitude.

The mature plant is a metre in height, with a square stem and long spikes extending from the ends of the leaves. Each spike produces a bright blue flower which develops into a calyx containing four chia seeds, which are smooth and oval shaped, about 2mm long and a shiny grey with black spots.

As well as being favoured by ancient civilisations, chia remains an important food source today for the Tarahumara, a Native American tribe who live in the steep canyons of the northern Mexico desert.

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The Tarahumura are renowned for their distance running abilities, able to cover hundreds of miles in the desert heat and their athletic endurance is attributed in part to the inclusion of chia seed in the daily diet, as its nutritional composition makes it an ideal source of slow release energy as well as containing more muscle-forming protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids than any other plant based food. Local folklore states that Tarahumara tribesmen will leave for a hunt taking only a small pouch of chia seeds which is enough to sustain them for days in the wilderness, providing energy as well as satiating hunger.

Processing

Our chia is grown on farms across South America, with locations in Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. These all fall within chia’s naturally occurring range, and by partnering with farmers in more than one country we are able to guarantee a consistent supply of quality chia at fair prices, even when weather conditions vary. There are a total of 30 farms producing our chia, and all of our farmers are paid a fair price for their crops. The growing process is also standardised so that every batch of chia represents the same high quality.

The seed lineages grown on our farms have been developed over 500 years by native Nahua villagers who have been domesticating the wild chia plant for generations, using selective breeding to improve the natural resistance of the plants to pests. [5] The mature chia plants are cut between November and January, depending on the location of the crop, and the small seeds are easily separated from the coarse plant material so that after harvesting the crop is already 96% pure seed. The seeds are then passed through a vibration cleaning mechanism which separates the quality chia seed from any small pebbles and other impurities.

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Occasionally the seeds may be damp after harvesting in which case they are placed on a cloth strung approximately a metre above the ground, under which warm air is passed until they are completely dried. To further guarantee the purity of the final product the seeds are passed over magnets which remove the smallest particles, and then stored below 25°C where the high antioxidant levels act as a natural preservative keeping them fresh. [1] Our chia seeds are also routinely tested and analysed for contaminants, to ensure that the final product is completely pure and free from heavy metal residues and pesticides.

Disclaimer

Please note the material on this web page is for information purpose only. This product has not been assessed or verified by regulatory authorities. This product does not claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and / or medical conditions. Under UK law, the ‘treatment’ of an illness or disease with a medical origin can only be prescribed/advised upon, by a practicing doctor.

Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you are pregnant, breast feeding, taking any medication or under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before use. Discontinue use and consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur.

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