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Chia Seeds-The next super food

guss

guss

MuscleHead
Aug 11, 2010
380
179
#1
Chia Seed Profile
Also known as- Salvia hispanica, California Chia, California Sage, Chia Pet Seed, and Chia Sage.

Description
When we think of Chia seeds, invariably an image comes to mind of the Chia Pet – a clay figurine with Chia sprouts for hair. However, most of us do not realize that Chia seed is highly nutritious, medicinal, and it has been used for centuries for its beneficial properties. Chia was a staple for Incan, Mayan, and Aztec cultures. “Chia” is even the Mayan word for “strength”, and Chia seeds used to be referred to as "Indian Running Food" because they are so energizing. Apache and Aztec warriors sustained themselves by bringing the seeds along while on conquests, Aztecs used Chia as a legal tender, Indians of the southwest depended upon them during long trading expeditions, and they were also used by the Indians and missionaries as a poultice for gunshot wounds and other injuries. Today, Chia seed is being rediscovered and embraced as a “superfood”, and it is quickly becoming popular among nutritionists and herbalists alike.

Constituents
Essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, 30% Protein, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, sodium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, silicon, and anti-oxidants.

Parts Used
The seeds – raw, cooked, or sprouted.

Typical Preparations
1-4 Tablespoons of the raw chia seeds may be used per day, mixing them into water, juice, or a smoothie.
Chia seeds can be ground into a powder and added to smoothies, used in baking or cooking, or substituted for Flax seeds in recipes. They have a pleasant nutty flavor.
The sprouted seeds can be added to salads and sandwiches.
One of the most common ways to consume Chia seeds is to make a Chia gel. To make Chia gel, place 1/3 cup Chia seeds into a sealable container, add 2 cups of water, and whisk briskly. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, and then whisk again before placing into the refrigerator. The mixture will turn into a gel, and will last up to 3 weeks if refrigerated. The recommended dosage is 3 Tablespoons 3 times per day, and the gel may be incorporated into jam, cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or any other foods for consumption. One pound of Chia seeds will make approximately 24 cups of gel, which will last over a month if consumed at the recommended amount of 3 tablespoons of gel 3 times per day.

Summary
Touted as being the new “superfood”, Chia seeds are high in easily digestible Protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, soluble fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and are a digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge and ophthalmic. They are currently being used for their nutritional and medicinal properties, endurance for athletes, for suppressing the appetite, weight loss, leveling blood sugar, and for aiding intestinal regularity. Chia seeds readily dissolve into the water, creating a substance that looks like gelatin. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia seed. Researchers believe that this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when Chia seed is consumed, thus creating a physical barrier between carbohydrates and digestive enzymes and slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar helps with endurance and metabolic rates, which is beneficial for athletes and others. For weight loss, Chia seeds are an appetite suppressant, and Chia gel may be used to replace food within recipes. Bulking up a meal with Chia gel helps lessen the amount of food consumed, since Chia gel is primarily made up of water. Chia gel may also be used in place of fats within recipes, even within baked goods. Chia seed has hydrophilic properties, and can absorb more than 12 times its weigh in water. Because of this, Chia seeds can prolong hydration, helping retain moisture and regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients and body fluids, including electrolyte balance.

Precautions
There is currently no evidence of adverse effects of whole or ground Chia seeds. As with any dietary supplement consult your healthcare practitioner before using this product, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or under medical supervision.


Well, nobody knows for sure if Chia Seeds are the cure all people are reporting, but what I know for sure is that they certainly are one nutrient- packed little seed. Chia Seeds are highly nutritious, medicinal, and have been used for centuries for its beneficial properties. Did you know that Chia Seeds are 16 percent Protein, 31 percent fat, and 44 percent carbohydrate of which 38 percent is fiber? And that, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 20 (2007),most of its fat is the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid or ALA? That's some powerful stuff.

And there is more. Chia Seeds have twice the Protein of any other seed or grain, five times the calcium of milk, two times the amount of potassium in bananas, three times the antioxidant strength of blueberries and three times more iron than spinach. They also have boron, which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones, omega 3 and omega 6 which are essential oils for the body. Wow, all that in one little seed, who knew?

"If you mix a spoonful of Chia Seeds in a glass of water and leave it for approximately 30 minutes or so, when you return the glass will appear to contain not seeds or water, but an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia."

The soluble fiber in the gel forms a wall between carbohydrates and the body, releasing them slowly into the body, thus slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. Chia Seeds are an exceptional food for Diabetics as it helps stabilize blood sugar and regulate the body's absorption of fluids, i.e. electrolyte balance, more efficiently.

Dieters love the Chia Seeds because they can be added to any food or drink in a ratio of 75% to the volume of food or drink and will not change the taste. And, because the carbohydrates are released slowly, you will get the feeling of being full. Many use the seeds as a way to control their appetites.

"In addition to the obvious benefits for diabetics, this slowing in the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar offers the ability for creating endurance. Carbohydrates are the fuel for energy in our bodies. Prolonging their conversion into sugar stabilizes metabolic changes, diminishing the surges of highs and lows creating a longer duration in their fueling effects."

"As a source of Protein, the Chia, after ingestion, is digested and absorbed very easily. This results in rapid transport to the tissue and utilization by the cells. This efficient assimilation makes the Chia very effective when rapid development of tissue takes place, primarily during growth periods if children and adolescents. Also for the growth and regeneration of tissue during pregnancy and lactation, and this would also include regeneration of muscle tissue for conditioning, athletes, weight lifters, etc."

Chia Seeds are also excellent as a digestive aid. Consuming 2-3 tablespoons of Chia gel with each meal will provide for better assimilation of food, increase your nutrient absorption and encourage better elimination. It will also prevent indigestion and heartburn.

"Touted as being the new "superfood", Chia Seeds are high in easily digestible Protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, soluble fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and are a digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge and ophthalmic. They are currently being used for their nutritional and medicinal properties, to provide endurance for athletes, for suppressing the appetite, weight loss, for leveling blood sugar, and for aiding intestinal regularity. The list of nutritional benefits of Chia Seeds goes on and on. One thing is clear adding Chia Seeds to your diet is a great way to supplement a healthy diet and healthy living plan."
 
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