Many horse owners struggle with the occurrence of allergies, finding them difficult to properly diagnose and treat. Often the sources are challenging to fully eliminate, and using allergy shots or corticosteroids can be costly and hard to manage. Chronicle of the Horse indentifies dietary supplements, such as flax, chia and hemp as helpful additives for reducing the symptoms and occurrence of allergies because of their richness in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fights against allergies in several ways. First, allergies are typically a result of an over-reactive immune system. Omega-3s help both regulate and strengthen the immune system, thus working to ward off future allergic reactions. Boosting the immune system also lessens the risk of developing infections as a result of combating allergens. Secondly, the anti-inflammatory properties found in Omega-3 are able to reduce swelling in the sinuses. If left unattended, this inflammation can lead to more chronic respiratory problems like Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO), potentially inhibiting the horse’s performance and quality of life.
While Omega-3 alone cannot fully combat allergies, it serves as an asset to a holistic treatment plan for allergies. With 2,400 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acid per tablespoon, chia is contains the highest level of Omega-3 when compared with flax and hemp. Another advantage of feeding chia versus the alternatives comes from its lack of a protective shell. Though also dense in Omega-3, flax seeds are wrapped in a tough outer layer and must first be ground or thoroughly chewed in order for the nutrients to be adequately absorbed, making it less convenient to feed. Additionally, chia seeds can be bought in bulk and stored for four to five years, while flax seed has a shelf life as short as one year.
If you suffer from allergies, you understand how inhibiting they can be to your day-to-day performance. It is no different for our equine companions, and at US Chia we strive to improve your horse’s well being by providing Omega-3 rich chia seeds. Get started feeding chia and combating allergies this summer by purchasing American produced chia seeds from our online store.