Mila, or chia seed, can help to optimize prenatal health through the seed’s many nutritional benefits. At no other time in a your life is nutrition more important than when your pregnant, for both you and your baby.
Mila, or Salvia hispanica, is the seed used to grow the popular Chia Pets, and both the seeds and the sprouts offer more than their weight in nutritional benefits. The seed is native to Mexico and Central America and was used by the ancient Aztecs to improve stamina and reduce pain.
Mila is one of nature’s true superfoods. It is packed with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium and fiber-all vital to prenatal health. The Mayo Clinic recommends that pregnant women consume 1,000 mg of calcium, 60 grams of protein and 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily. One ounce of mila seed contains 177 mg of calcium, 4.4 grams of protein, 10.6 of fiber and a whopping 4,915 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Mila and Omega-3
Research has shown that babies born to mothers with high levels of omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, at birth had a higher attention span level into their second year. Higher DHA levels were also linked to babies who were two months ahead developmentally for the first six months of life, as opposed to babies born to mothers with lower levels of DHA. Although an exact recommended level has not yet been established, researchers agree that this nutrient is invaluable to brain health and development.
Mila seeds can be eaten whole by sprinkling them on salads, on fruit or added to yogurt. The seeds can be ground and added to oatmeal or baked into desserts. The sprouts grow easily in a pot and can be included in sandwiches or salads.
Good prenatal nutrition requires a variety of healthy foods. Mila seeds are a smart addition to any healthy diet, and are an easy way to make sure that you and your baby are getting enough omega-3s.