Posts filed under ‘Origins’
by Richard Ayerza and Dr. Wayne Coates
One of the four main Aztec crops at the time of Columbus’s arrival in the New World, chia is now a forgotten food of the Americas. Chia seed oil offers the highest omega-3 fatty acid content available from plants, but today this species is known only for its use in “chia pets.” Yet pre-Columbian civilizations used chia as a raw material for medicines and nutritional compounds, while chia flour could be stored for years as a food reserve and was valued as a source of energy on long journeys.
In this book, agronomist Ricardo Ayerza and agricultural engineer Wayne Coates trace the long and fascinating history of chia’s use, then reveal the scientific story of the plant and its modern potential. They compare fatty acid profiles of chia with our other major sources—fish oil, flaxseed, and marine algae—and provide evidence that chia is superior in many ways.
Here are just some of the benefits that chia provides:
- chia has the highest known percentage of alpha-linolenic acid, and the highest combined alpha-linolenic and linoleic fatty acid percentage of all crops
- chia has more protein, lipids, energy, and fiber—but fewer carbs—than rice, barley, oats, wheat, or corn—and its protein is gluten-free
- chia is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and copper
- chia is low in sodium: salmon has 78 times as much, tuna 237 times as much
- chia exhibits no evidence of allergic response, even in individuals with peanut and tree-nut allergies
- chia doesn’t give off a “fishy flavor,” unlike some other sources of omega-3 fatty acid
The need to balance the essential fatty acid content of the human diet, combined with the need for a safe, renewable, omega-3 fatty acid source, positions chia to become one of the world’s important crops. As this insightful study shows, current nutritional understanding provides an excellent opportunity to reintroduce this important food to the world.
Scientific evidence strongly supports the use of chia as being the most efficient source of omega-3 fatty acids which can be used to enrich foods. Adding chia seeds or meal directly to the final product, or including it in animal diets has not shown any of the problems other omega-3 sources such as flaxseed or marine products have shown such as fishy flavor, animal weight loss, digestive problems, diarrhea, allergies, etc.
In pre-Columbian times chia was one of the four basic foods of Central American civilizations. It was less important than corn and beans, but more important than amaranth. Tenochtitlan, the Capital of the Aztec Empire, received between 5,000 and 15,000 tons of chia as an annual tribute from conquered nations. Chia seed was not just a food, but was also used for medical purposes and as an offering to the Aztec gods.
The use of chia in pagan religious ceremonies caused the Spanish conquistadors to try and eliminate it and replace it by species brought from the old world. The conquistadors came close to being successful in their crusade against New World practices such as growing chia and practicing various customs, as many disappeared. Corn and beans were an exception. They survived the conquistador’s efforts and became two of the world’s most important crops. However, because of its religious use, and maybe because chia was unable to adapt to production under European climatic conditions, it was pushed into obscurity for five hundred years.
Chia survived only in very small cultivated patches in scattered mountain areas of southern Mexico and Guatemala until a research and development program called the Northwestern Argentina Regional Project began in 1991. Under this project growers, commercial entities as well as technical and scientific personnel from Argentina, Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, and the USA began collaborating in the production of chia . The idea behind the project was not only to provide growers with alternative crops, but also to improve human health by reintroducing chia to western diets as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. A number of technical papers and reports that came from this project as well as subsequent studies are referred to in other pages of this web site. These provide additional information on chia, its composition and its uses.
MILA the miracle seed is a proprietary selection of chia seeds from the higher elevations of Central and Southern America. Until 500 years ago, it was one of the 4 staple crops of the Aztecs (corn, beans, chia, amaranth). Aztec warriors brought it along during their hunts and battles to help maintain their energy and provide complete nutrition even in the most desolate places.
Aztecs held festivals to thank their gods for bountiful harvests. One of these falls at the precise day of Easter. Thus when the Spanish came those shores, they practically forced the chia plant into extinction. Centuries later, only a few families propagated chia (Salvia hipanica L.) for their own use.
The foremost expert in the world on the growing and harvesting of Salvia hispanica L. and the rediscoverer of the seed, Dr. Wayne Coates, set out to enhance the nutritional value of the basic Salvia hispanica L. by combining the best qualities from many variations of the seed. After extensive research by Dr. Coates and his team of scientists, this goal was accomplished resulting in the world’s most beneficial and nutritious version of Salvia hispanica L., Mila™.
Mila™ has the highest and safest combination of Omega-3 fatty acids, Antioxidants, Fiber and Phytonutrients of any source. It is non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and pesticide-free!
Mila™ is gluten-free, trans-fat free, sugar-free, high in fiber and protein, has no taste or smell and can be deliciously combined with many foods! Its supreme biological properties are not diminished by heat in the baking process, therefore making it easy to incorporate into your favorite recipes.
To learn more try the benefits of the CHIA seed, as the microsliced MILA, you may order through the LifeMax website.
In the Philippines, email or call 0928 6148600 or 02-4559230 to try theMILA out.