Chia Nutritional Research
Chia seeds are an abundant source of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, á-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid, which, through successive metabolic desaturation and elongation reactions gives rise to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid: an omega-3 fatty acid present in fish oils) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid: an omega-3 fatty acid present in fish oils). EPA and DHA are now widely recognized as having an important role in the prevention of coronary heart disease. Introduction of whole Chia seed and whole ground Chia, as a terrestrial source of á-linolenic acid, to the human diet in soft grain bread would increase the number of possible sources of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids available to consumers.