Heart Beat: A Chia Pet for diabetes?

Heart Beat

A Chia Pet for diabetes?

Published: March, 2008

As each December rolls around, ads for the Chia Pet start turning up on late-night television. When watered, these silly ceramic figures sprout a green "fur" from seeds on their surface. A Canadian study suggests that a variant of these seeds might help people with diabetes control their blood sugar and protect their hearts.

Chia seeds come from a plant formally known as Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. It gets its common name from the Aztec word chian, meaning oily, because the herb's small, black seeds are rich in oils. Legend has it that Aztec runners relied on chia seeds for fuel as they carried messages one hundred or more miles in a day. The seeds contain more healthy omega-3 fats and fiber than flax or other grain seeds, and they're a great source of protein and antioxidants.

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