CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds is often regarded as the best known source of extremely important omega-3 fatty acid. Some sources suggest that it is higher in omega 3 than even flax seeds. Two tablespoons of chia seeds have over 5000 mg Omega-3 whereas two tablespoons of flax seeds have 2700 mg Omega-3. Chia seeds are also higher in fiber and much higher in antioxidants than flax seeds. In fact, chia seeds have more antioxidants than fresh blueberries!

Since chia seeds seem to be helpful in suppressing hunger and are so rich in omega 3 and nutrients, they should be included in your diet. It can absorb large amounts of water (up to 12 times its own weight) and is also high in soluble fiber, and thus provides a feeling of fullness that lasts for quite a long time and reducing hunger. It means that adding just about 30 gr or an ounce of chia seeds to our diet can significantly reduce caloric intake and greatly increase the amount of fiber. Aztecs called chia the “running food” because their messengers could run long distances on just a handful.

The seeds are also a very good source of antioxidants, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients. Because chia seeds contain more than twice the amount of tryptophan found in turkey they are very helpful in increasing the levels of serotonin in our body. Due to the unique way they break down in the digestion system, chia seeds slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. A 2007 study with a group of diabetics demonstrated that those of them who consumed up to four teaspoons of chia seeds a day for three months increased the levels of omega-3 fatty acids by 80%, reduced their blood clotting factors by 20%, and significantly lowered their blood pressure.

Chia is also very easy to use as you can eat them to any type of food. The most popular and probably the best way is to soak the seeds before eating them. You can mix one or two tablespoons of chia seeds with water, fruit juice, smoothies, soy yogurt, soy milk or another type of plant-based milk, leave for at least 30 minutes or even overnight and consume with fruits or any other type of food.

Sources

Borneo R, Aguirre A, León AE. Chia (Salvia hispanica L) gel can be used as egg or oil replacer in cake formulations. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):946-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada. 2010. 03. 011.

Justo MB, Alfaro AD, Aguilar EC, Wrobel K, Wrobel K, Guzmán GA, Sierra ZG, Zanella Vda M. [Integral bread development with soybean, chia, linseed, and folic acid as a functional food for women]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2007 Mar; 57(1): 78-84. Spanish.

Illian TG, Casey JC, Bishop PA. Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):61-5.

Ulbricht C, Chao W, Nummy K, Rusie E, Tanguay-Colucci S, Iannuzzi CM, Plammoottil JB, Varghese M, Weissner W. Chia (Salvia hispanica): a systematic review by the natural standard research collaboration. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2009 Sep; 4(3): 168-74.

Jeong SK, Park HJ, Park BD, Kim IH. Effectiveness of Topical Chia Seed Oil on Pruritus of End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Patients and Healthy Volunteers. Ann Dermatol. 2010 May;22(2):143-8. doi: 10.5021/ad.2010.22.2.143. Epub 2010 May 17.

Stephanie Strom (November 23, 2012). “30 Years After Chia Pets, Seeds Hit Food Aisles”. New York Times. Retrieved 2012-11-26.

Nieman DC, Gillitt N, Jin F, Henson DA, Kennerly K, Shanely RA, Ore B, Su M, Schwartz S (2012). “Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation”. J Altern Complement Med 18 (7): 700–8.

Chicco AG, D’Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, Oliva ME, Lombardo YB. “Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats.” Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan; 101(1): 41-50.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “About Herbs: Chia”. July 2011.

Nieman DC, Cayea EJ, Austin MD, Henson DA, McAnulty SR, Jin F. “Chia seed does not promote weight loss or alter disease risk factors in overweight adults.” Nutr Res. 2009 Jun; 29(6):414-8.

Ulbricht C, Chao W, Nummy K, Rusie E, Tanguay-Colucci S, Iannuzzi CM, Plammoottil JB, Varghese M, Weissner W. “Chia (Salvia hispanica): a systematic review by the natural standard research collaboration.” Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2009 Sep; 4(3): 168-74.

Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogovik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A. “Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized controlled trial.” Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov; 30(11):2804-10.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/cgi-bin/

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA365093/Chia-for-Health.html

William C. Stanley, Erinne R. Dabkowski, Rogerio F. Ribeiro, Jr., and Kelly A. O’Connell (March 2, 2012). Dietary Fat and Heart Failure: Moving from Lipotoxicity to Lipoprotection. Published in Circulation Research by American Heart Association. Retrieved April 21, 2013:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356700/

Norlaily Mohd Ali, Swee Keong Yeap, Wan Yong Ho, Boon Kee Beh, Sheau Wei Tan, and Soon Guan Tan (November 21, 2012). The Promising Future of Chia, Salvia hispanica L. Published in Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Retrieved April 21, 2013:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518271/

USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory (2013). Nutrient data for 12006, Seeds, chia seeds, dried. Release 25. Retrieved April 21, 2013:
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3591?fg=&man=&lfacet=&count=&max=&sort=&qlookup=&offset=&format=Full&new