Friday, January 15, 2010

Nature's Superfoods










1. Chia Seeds


 - 100% natural raw food – High in natural anti-oxidants; efa's; Protein; Calcium; fibre AND is Gluten-free!!!


Have you heard of Chia seeds? Chia is the 'latest' (actually rediscovered) wonder food of the Century!

Chia, (salvia hispanica L.) a member of the sage family is an ancient food of the Mayan, Aztec and
Southwest Native American people and was a staple in their diet along with corn, beans and amaranth.



Chia seeds are gaining popularity again as one of the highest plant-based source of Omega-3 known to man. (Linseeds being the other more well known highest plant-based source).


You are probably familiar with the anti-inflammatory benefits and the importance of including essential fatty acids such as Omega-3, (a-linolenic acid) in our diet. Even conventional medical practitioners prescribe Omega-3 for prevention or treatment of disorders such as depression and ADHD; as well as heart disease and hypertension (which can be caused from a lack of Omega-3 in the diet). "Essential fatty acids lessen high blood pressure, help to prevent arthritis, lower cholesterol and treat psoriasis, candidiasis, eczema and cardiovascular disease." [Source:www.blood-pressure-updates.com/omega-3 and hypertension]

Chia is 62% - 65% Omega-3. That makes Chia a very high anti-inflammatory. But the good news doesn't end there....Chia also contains powerful antioxidants that protect the delicate essential fatty acids from oxidation. 
When prescribing essential fatty acids, you are usually advised to take anti-oxidants to prevent the 'oils' from going 'rancid' or being destroyed in your body. With Chia, unlike the regular sources of omega-3 oils (e.g., flax, hemp, or fish), the antioxidants are 'built in' so taking Chia doesn’t require supplementing with artificial or added antioxidants such as vitamins in order to remain fresh. Chia is an antioxidant-rich, whole food that naturally protects itself from oxidation, and that is the reason why Chia seeds remain fresh for longer.
Chia is also calcium-rich having 5 times more calcium than milk and the calcium is in a more readily absorbable form - because it contains traces of boron, which is vital for bone health.
Chia has 19 to 23% protein content and is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids, more
than that found in traditional cereals such as wheat (13.7%), corn (9.4%), rice (6.5%), oatmeal (16.9%) and
barley (12.5%) and Chia’s protein is gluten-free.
Chia seeds are highly hydrophilic, with the ability to hold about nine times their weight in water. This ability can prolong hydration and retain electrolytes in body fluids, especially during exertion or exercise.
Chia provides 27.6 gr. of fibre per 100 gr. of seed, equivalent to 100% of the recommended daily doses for adults. This soluble fibre cleans the intestines by transporting any debris from the intestinal walls so that it can be eliminated regularly and more efficiently. A daily dose of Chia seeds provides an excellent fibre source and most people notice a different in less than a week.



Summary of benefits:

�� Highest known plant source for Omega-3 (62% - 65%)
�� High in calcium - 5 times more than milk (600 milligrams of calcium in 100gm)
�� High in protein (19 to 23 percent protein by weight) and complete with all the essential amino acids
�� A very high anti-inflammatory natural food
�� High in vitamins & minerals
�� Raw & unprocessed natural seed
�� Loaded with antioxidants
�� Prolong hydration & retention of electrolytes
�� Great for all ages: infants to the elderly
�� Hundreds of ways to incorporate it in your diet


How To Use Chia Seeds
Every body is different, but the general guide is start off small say a teaspoon of Chia daily and work your way up to as much as you feel is right for you as there is no set “dose” or “recommended” amount to use. So as Chia is a 'food' a great place to start would be around 5-10 grams (1-2 teaspoons) per day. This could then be increased up to 2 - 3 tablespoons a day. You don’t need to be too precise on your measurements because reember, Chia seeds are a food, so experimenting to see what effect it has on your body and adjusting the dose to what you can tolerate is always best. Make sure your fluid intake is always more than adequate as with introducing any extra fibre, the body needs extra water to assist the process.
Your body type and the reasons why you use Chia seeds will determine how much you should consume in
order to feel the many benefits from using the right amount.  
 For example:
Your metabolism rate will determine how soon you feel the benefits of Chia seeds.
- Fast metabolism should feel a difference in 10 to 15 days (sometimes first week!)
- Slow metabolism can take 3 to 4 weeks to feel the benefits
If you are a person that already eats healthy then the 10 grams should be enough for you to feel the benefits
of all the nutrition in Chia seeds. Judging your own metabolism rate add more by half measures (5 grams or
1 teaspoon) if you don’t feel any of the noticeable benefits listed below.
If you are an “on the go” person and can’t always eat right then the 10 grams in the morning and another 10
grams in a 500ml (16oz) bottle of water or juice to drink through the day will be very beneficial.




How to Prepare Chia Seeds for ingestion:

A common way to consume chia seeds is to make them into a gel.
Place 1/3 cup of Chia seeds into a container (with a lid) and add 2 cups of water. Whisk/shake the mixture briskly, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and whisk again. Seal the container and place in the refrigerator (where it will last up to 3 weeks).
Up to 3 tablespoons 3 times a day is the recommended dosage for the Chia seeds gel mixture.
You can incorporate the gel into foods, such as jams, yogurt, and smoothies.
You can also get the health benefits of Chia seeds from grounding them into a powder and using them in baking or cooking. The recommended dosage for raw Chia seeds is 1-4 tablespoons a day.

Some of the reasons for recommending the elderly to use Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are the highest source of the essential fatty acid OMEGA 3, which makes them therefore a high anti inflammatory source. One of the main reasons our elderly patients/friends suffer from aches and pains in old age, apart from earlier injuries or previous accidents, and general stiffness from lack of movement etc., is from the pain associated with arthritis. They could be benefiting from the anti inflammatory effects of Chia seeds, just by adding Chia to their diet. Other ailments that could benefit from high OMEGA 3 daily intake are, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, IBS* and many more. The high fibre content of Chia seeds combined with the anti inflammatory effect, is also beneficial for addressing constipation - especially the type associated with the side affects of medications.
NB: Chia seeds are not claimed as a 'cure' for any disease however, they are a highly nutritional food that helps us to maintain not only our good health but also many ailments and diseases we may suffer from.


Energy or the lack of it, is also a main concern for many of us these days with long hours at work and not enough time spent with our loved ones and friends due to lack of energy which in turn leads to a lack of motivation. The high nutritional value in Chia seeds gives us more energy during the day and more importantly at the end of the day when we need it the most. This is not jumping out of your skin type energy like you would associate with caffeine however you just won’t be as tired as you use to be.


Summary of the possible benefits to introducing Chia into your diet:
- More energy
- Better concentration
- Eliminate or at the least, improve aches & pains
- You feel GREAT!
- Mood changes for the better
- You feel happier and healthier


Chia seeds usually work for 100% of the people that use them.  The only people that they don’t work for are the ones that don’t take them correctly or don’t take them at all. The effects may be gradual, so after a month of continuous use, stop using them and notice how you feel. 


*Note: Those with IBS or inflammation of the bowel should start slowly with 1 teaspoon
and over the course of a month increase to 2 teaspoons. Chia seeds are high in fibre and will
regulate your system naturally to where it should be.

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/health/alternative-medicine/articles

Nutritional Info:


nutritional information

Nutritional information from: http://www.thechiaco.com.au/










Susi B's Alternative & Natural Health Disclaimer:Please Read Below!

The information contained in these articles is the opinion of the author, and should not be considered or taken in any way as medical advice. The information in these articles is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure any ailment. I suggest you ALWAYS check with your OWN Natural Health Practitioner or medical Physician before taking any products suggested here or following any advice you have read on Susi Baumgartner's Blogspot.com. Always consult your doctor before you start, stop or change anything that you have been previously prescribed. Certain herbs and holistic remedies are unsuitable to take if you are pregnant or nursing and must always be cleared and advised by your Doctor before use.



Possible Side effects of Chia Seeds


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