Ch-ch-ch-chia! Reap the benefits of superfood chia seeds

Nutrition

Photo credit: chiaseedsuperfoods.com

By pH health care professionals

Although it seems like a new health-food craze, chia is actually one of the oldest. Chia is a traditional food in Central and South America, famously a staple of the Aztec warriors. This Salvia hispanica is in the mint family and makes white or purple flowers. The edible seed is renowned for its high content of omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are gluten-free, too. So what can chia do for you?

Chia offers the following benefits:

When studied in rodents, it was found that chia offers:

  •          Alpha-linoleic acid. This is an essential fatty acid that gets turned into the familiar DHA and EPA found in salmon. Alpha-linoleic acid has been shown to lower cholesterol in rats fed “bad” diets.
  •          Heart and liver-protecting effects.
  •          Reduction of blood sugar levels after eating.

Though these studies used rodents as test subjects and not humans, they give us a window into the health potential of these little seeds.

When studied in humans, taking chia reduced appetite for several hours after eating, making chia a useful addition to any natural weight-loss plan. Note that chia won’t make you lose weight all by itself; eating healthy food and sticking to an exercise plan will.

Some of the unusual places you might find chia these days?

  •          Chicken feed. This is how you get the omega-3 rich eggs in the supermarket
  •          Cattle feed. (It’s the same story with omega-3 rich milk)
  •          Baked goods/nutrition bars
  •          Yogurt
  •          Baby formula and food
  •          Chia seed oil sold to help dry and itchy skin
  •          Carb-loading sports drinks
  •          Menopause supplements

So how can you enjoy some chia seeds?

It’s easy to enjoy chia. You can toss the seeds in smoothies and cereal, sprinkle them over salads, or add them to a spice rub. When mixed with water and left to stand for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. You can mix this with cocoa powder for dessert. Chia sprouts go well in salad as well.

Just as with any new food supplement, test a small amount of chia first to make sure that you are not allergic. Then, enjoy your new ally in healthy eating

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.

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