If you’ve lived at least a quarter century as an American, you have a soft spot for the iconic Chia Pet. The ubiquitous TV commercial darling exploded onto the scene in the early 1980’s and has graced the desks and counters of animal-shaped plant lovers ever since. So, I couldn’t help but smile when I came across this product the other day.
Recent versions of the terracotta figurines include Shrek and Barack Obama, both sprouting green manes. Well, it turns out that the Chia Pet has always been more than just the gift that’s “easy to do . . . fun to grow.”
Now, I doubt any of you have ever gazed hungrily at the desk plant/pet, but it turns out that Chia seeds (yes, the very same seeds you lovingly spread over your clay sheep and watered every day) are one of the healthiest foods around. You can sprinkle the seeds over yogurt, in your cereal and generally use it much like you would granola.
Chia seeds have been shown to help weight loss by reducing food cravings and making you feel full faster. They aid in reducing blood pressure and benefit diabetics by helping to control blood sugar. These wonder seeds are also the richest plant source of Omega-3, the essential fats that protect our bodies against heart disease.
So it seems the Chia, which held a special place in my heart as a kid, will now help keep it ticking in adulthood. Cheers, chi-chi-chi-chia!