If you have those concerns read this article from Seacoastonline.com. It is a bit lengthy but there is a wealth of information here, all presented in a factual, no nonsense manner that I personally found refreshing.
Read it here:
Chia seeds are extremely nutritious. They come from the Salvia hispanica shrub that is native to Guatemala and Mexico where they have been used for foodstuff since the time of the Aztecs. Chia seeds are now being marketed as among the newest “super-foods”. Undoubtedly these small seeds are packed with nutritional value but not all the research supports all of the promises being made.
A 1-oz. helping of Chia seeds includes 139 calories and also supplies 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. Chia seeds are cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats. They also are an excellent source of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid, and antioxidants.
A report issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) makes the claim that two-thirds of American adults who are suffering from high cholesterol as well as fifty percent who have symptoms of hypertension are not receiving effective treatment. This lack of treatment for both ailments significantly increases these individual’s risk of heart attacks or stroke.
Nor is this a health care coverage related issue. The CDC estimates that in excess of eighty percent of those dealing with hypertension or higher than recommended levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol enjoy coverage by either public or private health insurance plans.
The conclusion is that, even those with the financial resources to receive medical care are not doing enough to reduce either LDL cholesterol, or hypertension.
Right now almost 2,000 (400 are under age 65) Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and strokes. The CDC estimates that tens of thousands of lives could be saved annually if both doctors and their patients even just a little bit more attention to the problems of high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Chia seed is becoming a popular natural health food because they are a rich source of balanced fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, both soluble and insoluble, dietary fiber, proteins, antioxidants, and several other nutrients. In fact, one researcher in Australia stated: “Chia seeds are the richest known whole food source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plus they’re exceptionally high in vegetable protein, calcium, magnesium, iron and antioxidants.”
Chia seed, harvested from the salvia hispanica plant, has been used by both the Maya and the Aztecs and other people in Central and South America for thousands of years. Regarded as a source of food by these ancient civilizations, Chia seeds were grown and consumed as a grain, mixed with other grains, milled into flour, used in medicines and for oil. Because the plant is a member of the mint family, most insects don’t like it and so no pesticides are necessary for successful cultivation.
Today Chia seeds are emerging in the market as a prized dietary supplement because of their many health benefits. Most of the Chia in the market today is grown commercially in the Ord Valley region of Western Australia although Chia continues to be grown in many Central and South American countries as well.
Chia seeds are generally considered as being either white or black and there is no little controversy surrounding which seed color is nutritionally superior. Research done at the University of Arizona on both white and black seed plants grown in four geographically diverse locations found no significant nutritional differences between the two seeds. In fact, the research found that there is actually a greater nutritional difference depending on the location grown than in the color of the seeds.
Chia seeds are one of the most dense foods available nutrients, because they are rich in protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibers. They have no flavor, so that they can be added as a nutritional supplement to almost any type of food. They can be added to yogurt, used in recipes to make bread or added to a drink such as a fruit or vegetable smoothie.
Both flax and Chia seeds contain many essential nutrients, including omega-3, but the flax seed has a very hard seed coating that must be opened through grinding, milling, or cooking. If you eat flax seeds that have not been properly opened, they will simply pass through the body. Chia seed does not have this seed coating so eating the whole seed will yield the nutritional benefits.
The Food and Drug Administration classifies Chia seeds as a food source without any safety concerns. The omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber have been shown to have positive benefits to health, such as reduced inflammation and increased immunity in many different studies. Although not a diet food, Chia seeds expand in fluid and will often give a “full” feeling which makes you feel less hungry. Many athletes use Chia in their diets to help improve endurance levels. Indeed, anyone who is interested natural health and maintaining a healthy diet will benefit from by adding Chia to their meal plans.
There is the old saying that we are “only as old as we feel,” and that means, to perform at our best both at work and in our personal lives, our bodies need to feel good! It is very hard to be upbeat and cheerful when you are not feeling energetic. Being able to feel our best has become even more of a challenge today as it seems that everything we need to accomplish becomes harder and harder.
To be our best we need to give our bodies constant sources of nutrients to promote good digestion, energy and a healthy metabolism. Think of it like this, the body is a very well designed biological machine and to operate at peak performance it needs the right fuels. If you fuel yourself with a diet of high calorie, low nutritional value food you are going to get a fat, out of shape, low performance body. This should not come as a shock to you. We all know we should eat better but frequently don’t. The excuse is that the there isn’t time nor energy to prepare a decent meal and so it’s again another trip to the drive through or something from the microwave. While we may well be tired and running late, good nutrition is a commitment. Decisions must be made about what is most important to include in your day.
So what’s to be done? The time hassles will not go away and good, nutritious food still takes time and energy to prepare. Well, I think the answer is in three parts: