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home : blogs : simply fit April 16, 2014

Simply Fit
By Pamela Liuzzo, Prescott Valley, AZ
simplyfitt@gmail.com
Diets don't work! Breaking unhealthy habits does. Let me share with you how simple changes in your daily life can help improve your waistline and maybe even your entire life.
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chia seeds: from gag gift to super food

 By Pamela Liuzzo DTR

Chia Seeds

I'm not one to jump on the latest "miracle food" hype, so when I heard about Chia seeds, I listened but I hardly ran out to the store to purchase some. But just the other day, a friend of mine was telling me how she soaks Chia seeds in juice, which turns into a jelly like substance that she then spreads on her toast in the morning. Then today, I read an article about how a pro football player incorporates Chia seeds into his diet due to its energy and muscle building benefits. These two separate stories intrigued me enough to research what all the hype was about.

According to Chiaseedsguide.com, in Mayan, the word "Chia" means strength. The Aztecs considered the Chia seed to be an important part of their diet and even used Chia as currency because it was so valuable to them. Even Dr Oz considers Chia seeds as one of his top 5 supplements saying:

"Chia seeds are quickly gaining popularity for their powerful health benefits. Rich in protein, minerals and fiber, Chia seeds also contain 500 (percent) more calcium than milk and the same amount of omega-3s as wild salmon. Thanks to their cancer-fighting and appetite-suppressing properties, it's not difficult to see why Chia seeds are the new super seed."

In my research, I found that Chia seeds are believed to help with:

• Blood glucose control

• Bone health

• Increase HDL cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol

• Increase energy and muscle mass

• Lower inflammation in the body

• Increase hydration status

• Lower blood pressure

• Bowel health

• Aide in weight loss

• Enhance sex appeal.

Just kidding about the sex appeal folks; I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

According to NutritionData.com, 1 oz of Chia seeds contain the following:

• 137 calories

• 9 grams of total fat

• 1 gram saturated fat

• 0 cholesterol

• 5 mg sodium

• 12 grams of carbohydrates

• 11 grams of fiber

• 4 grams of protein

• 4915 mg Total Omega-3 fatty acids, 1620 mg Omega-6 fatty acids

Chia seeds are low in cholesterol and sodium. They are a good source of calcium and phosphorus, and a very good source of fiber and manganese. Chia seeds have a glycemic load of 1, which means that it is a very low glycemic food and contains anti-inflammatory properties.

According to Paradise Food Project Farm to School Program, Chia may be nature's most perfect food. It contains more omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseed, three times more antioxidants than blueberries, six times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach, two times more potassium than bananas, and two and a half times more protein than kidney beans and even more fiber than All Bran.

Chia seeds are not going to change your life or cure all that ails you but it might give your diet a little boost in the right direction. I was unable to find any science based information about recommended daily allowance so please follow the information provided on the package and talk to your doctor.

I'd love to hear how you are using Chia seeds and if you have noticed any health benefits. My husband is hoping they help him grow hair. Please leave a comment to share with others. Ch Ch CH Chia!

Peace.

Related Links:
• Nutritiondata
• Chia Information
• More Chia Information

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Article comment by: Pam @ Simply Fit Liuzzo

To a Word of Caution: Wouldn’t it be great if people could use foods such as Chia instead of blood pressure medications to lower blood pressure?

Incorporating Chia seeds into a heart healthy diet may be one more step in the right direction towards achieving better health. High doses of Chi seeds are not recommended for those who suffer from chronic low blood pressure. I don’t recommend high doses of any nutritional supplement or food for anyone. Remember, moderation in all things.

According to the CDC: About one out of three U.S. adults—31.3%
In 2010, high blood pressure will cost the United States $76.6 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work.

According to WebMD “Chia seems to be safe when taken for up to 12 weeks. Not enough is known about the safety of using it for a longer period of time.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of chia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

High triglycerides: Blood contains several types of fat, including cholesterol and triglycerides. Triglyceride levels are too high in some people. Eating some types of chia can make them even higher. If you have high triglycerides, stick with using a specific variety of chia called Salba. Salba does not significantly increase triglyceride levels.

Prostate cancer: Chia contains a lot of alpha-linolenic acid. Some research suggests that large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid in the diet might increase the chance of getting prostatecancer. If you have prostate cancer or have a high risk of getting it, avoid eating large amounts of chia.


Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Article comment by: Agatina Horvath

Hi Pam I'm impressed with the comments you received. I'm going to buy some, soak it in water and put it my oatmeal.

Posted: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Article comment by: A WORD OF CAUTION

please check the side effects of chia seeds -- they can lower blood pressure among other things -- if you are on medication for high blood pressure for instance, consuming chia seeds may lower your blood pressure too much -- very dangerous --


Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Kim Tate

My good friend is making chia muffins tuesday, cant wait!

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Pam @ Simply Fit Liuzzo

I purchased mine at "Fresh Vitamins" in Prescott at the Albertsons shopping center. A 9.5oz container cost me around $10.00. I think that most health food stores carry Chia seeds now. I don’t know that I got the best deal since Chia seeds are new to me. I’ve been putting them in my protein shake in the morning and I’m making sweet and sour soup with them tonight. Even my kids like Chia seeds.

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: new frontiers

I just went by New Frontiers and unfortunately, since the airing of Dr Oz, they are completely sold out of the bulk (bin) chia seed. They are on order currently. They do have in stock a prepackaged bag but it doesn't say organic on it, or there's premeasured packets in a box you can purchase off the shelf from them too. Hope this helps everyone!

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Lee Douglas

The Honey Man in Prescott Valley has the chia seeds. They are not at all expensive.

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: don longe

They are not expensive. You can buy them at most health food stores. Any where from $6 to $7 a pound. You will have great results!

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Zippity Do Dah

New Frontiers has them in the bulk section or they are available online at nutiva(dot)com , that is where I purchase mine as they are much cheaper and very good quality. There are lots of other sellers online but I have not tried them so cannot attest to their quality.

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Jodi Dominick

We use chia seeds in many areas of our diet. Every morning we eat soaked oats:

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or agave, etc...)
1 tsp vanilla
2 bananas

Mash and mix. Soak this mixture overnight and add 2 tbsp peanut butter and whatever fruit you like, to taste. We add blueberries and/or strawberries, even chopped apple. Mix again and eat. Because it is soaked rather than cooked, it is easily absorbed by the body, and the net gain in nutrients is much higher. We use all organic/raw products. This provides a great start to our day, plenty of energy, and the most nutritious breakfast we've found to date. As an aside, we occasionally test our PH levels (learned how important this is in fighting cancer while cooking for my husband's father who has stage 3/4 bladder cancer) and eating like this has kept us at a steady 8 on the scale. Cancer cannot grow at 8 and is actually killed off at that level. Thanks for the post. Love the blogs!


Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: INTERESTED 2 TRY

does anyone know where to find these seeds? are they expensive?

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: INTERESTED 2 TRY

I am very interested to try these. Does anyone know where to find them? Are they expensive?

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Zippity Do Dah

Chia seeds are a great addition to one's diet, I eat them daily in smoothies. Their fiber content keeps you "regular" while also providing nutrition (you don't get that with cellulose), they are delicious in beverages (chia fresca), they can be used as an egg substitute in baked goods, and they control your blood sugar response when eaten with foods containing sugar. I purchase mine in 10 pound bags from Nutiva to keep costs down. Nutiva also has many great recipes for chia seeds on their website. Thanks for spreading the word about this excellent food source!

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Rachael Jensen

I have been interested in Chia seeds since watching an episode of Dr. Oz. I'm very anxious to try them and be able to "sneak" them in food for my husband's inflammation and other health problems. Me, for diet and to become healthier. I hope someone posts how they use it in food. Interesting article.



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