Chances are you’ve heard of Chia Seeds in some context. Over the last several years they’ve become widely used in human diets for their many benefits and proclaimed status as a superfood. You might have had them in a smoothie or sprinkled on a salad or perhaps on top of your breakfast oats. After all, they are very versatile and have a pleasant, subtle nutty flavour that adds dimension to almost any meal.
Did you know that Chia Seeds aren’t just a superfood for us humans? Horses can benefit from the many excellent nutritional qualities of Chia. In fact, given that horses have sensitive gastrointestinal tracts and chia seeds do so much to help the gut, they’re an especially good choice for horses who have gut issues.
Chia seeds come from a plant in the mint family called Salvia Hispanic and are native to South America. Today they are grown in South and Central America, North America, Australia and parts of Europe. They are a small seed and can either be black or white or white in colour although they are predominantly black. They have a very subtle flavour and complement almost every flavour very well.
Chia seeds have a special nutritional profile being high in protein and fibre whilst also being low in sugar and starch - ideal for a laminitis horse or pony (also good for the gut and digestion). They have a high mucilage content, meaning that when they’re exposed to liquid, either before feeding or during consumption, they form a soothing gel that coats the gastrointestinal tract as they work their way through it.
It doesn’t stop there with these little guys - one oft he best things about them is their omega fatty acid content. Chia seeds are high in omega fatty acids, but more importantly, they contains omega 6 and omega 3 essential fatty acids in an ideal ratio ensuring that the benefits of those EFA’s are abundant. In fact, Chia seeds contain more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in an ideal balance than any other plant product.
They also contain all of the essential amino acids as well as high levels of vitamin and minerals.
Chia seeds are an excellent all round supplement and can have a positive effect on the overall health and well-being of any horse. Chia seeds can support and maintain many areas of equine health including:
- Gut and Digestion
- Skin and Coat
- Muscle Development
- Endocrine and Hormones
Chia seeds can be fed soaked or dry and should be fed at a rate of between 30 grams and 100 grams per day depending on the horse and the reason for feeding.
If you have questions about Chia seeds and how they can help your horse, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll be happy to assist.
To read more on chia seeds or purchase chia seeds for your horse go to: https://equinutritive.com/chia-seeds