Chia Seeds - Nature's Super Food
Chia seeds are one of nature's most complete and powerful super foods.
They provide the highest amount of Omega 3 from a plant based source, and are rich in nutrition, containing protein, vitamins and minerals including calcium and magnesium, fibre and antioxidants.
Chia is naturally gluten free.
It is a complete protein, containing all 8 essential amino acids which is unusual for a vegetarian source.
Chia seed has been used for centuries, as a food that would provide energy and endurance during battle, or when traveling long distances by foot, it was used for nourishment.
It is said that one tablespoon could sustain a person for 24 hours. It was a staple food for many and has now been "rediscovered" for its wonderful nutritional benefits.
Today, there are 2 types of chia, black and white chia seed. Although they appear different, there is not alot of difference in the nutritional value.
Black chia seed is naturally a combination of black, white and grey seeds. White chia seed was formed by specially selecting white seeds from the black variety.
Energy Fields produces both black and white chia seed in a 250g pack.
Chia Seed Benefits
Essential Fatty Acids
Chia seeds contain both the Omega 3 and the Omega 6 essential fatty acids. These good fats are needed for many functions in the body, such as for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
The Omega 3 alpha linolenic acid in chia partially converts to the other essential fatty acids - EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), the essential fatty acids found in fish oil, which have been shown to improve brain function, immune function and blood circulation, lower cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. They may also have anti cancer benefits. There is an average of 20g of Omega 3 per 100g of chia.
Omega 6 linoleic acid is found in chia (approx 7g per 100g) and is important for healthy skin. It also partially converts to gamma-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid. These have been found to be anti inflammatory in the body, and beneficial in improving joint mobility and heart function.
Chia is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. There is approximately 36 grams of dietary fibre per 100 grams of chia.
The soluble fibre gels with water which has many health benefits. It can help to lower cholesterol, regulate bowel function and stabilize blood sugar levels. It can also make you feel fuller.
The insoluble fibre does not absorb, it passes through the digestive system. It improves bowel function and decreases the risk of colon cancer.
Chia is an excellent source of antioxidants which protects the body against free radicals.
These free radicals are formed from everyday stress, pollution, chemicals etc. A diet that contains anti oxidants helps to slow the aging process in the brain and whole body. It can also decrease the effects of chronic diseases.
These antioxidants also keep the seeds fresh and stop the essential fatty acids from becoming rancid.
There is approximately 20 grams of protein found in 100 grams of this super food. Protein is important for the building and repair of tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood, the making of enzymes and hormones etc.
Since chia is digested and absorbed in the body very easily, the nutrients can be quickly transported to the cells, so it is very good in times of rapid growth and development. This means it can be used during growth periods in children and adolescents, and during pregnancy and lactation.
Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium found in chia is important for healthy, strong bones and teeth, heart and muscle function. It contains 6 times the calcium found in milk per weight (approx 700mg of calcium in 100g of chia compared to 120 mg in 100g of milk) and is readily absorbed by the body.
It also contains boron which helps with the absorption and utilization of calcium.
Iron is also in this amazing seed. Chia contains approximately 3 times more iron than spinach.
Iron is present in every living cell and is necessary for the production of haemoglobin, found in red blood cells, and myoglobin, the major protein of muscle cells and enzymes. It is important for oxygen transport and the regulation of cell growth. Iron is essential to all human beings.
Magnesium is important for calcium absorption, muscle function, regulation of heart rythms. There is about 300-400mg of magnesium in 100g of chia.
Phosphorus is also important for bones and kidneys by regulating fluid levels in the body.
Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, water balance in the body and the proper function of cells.
Chia also contains Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C and E.
Chia seed is very low in sodium, less than 1mg per 100g.
Chia Seeds Side Effects
There are no known side effects, but people with bowel problems should always begin with small amounts since chia is so high in fibre.
The average serving of chia seed is 1 tablespoon per day or 15 grams. It doesn't need grinding, and can be kept at room temperature. Due to its high antioxidant content it does not go rancid.
It can be sprinkled added to Energy Fields cereals and muesli, sprinkled over salads, and it can also be baked into bread, muffins, porridge, slices and cookies.
You can also mix the chia with water to form a chia gel.
Use 1 tablespoon of chia seed to 9 tablespoons of water. Mix with a fork to prevent clumping and leave for 10 to 15 minutes.
A thick gel will be formed, and this gel can be baked into cakes, muffins etc. It can be used instead of butter, margarine or oil, which will decrease the fat content of your favorite recipes. The gel keeps in the fridge for up to a week and can be added to smoothies, juices, herbal teas, yoghurt, jams, jellies, hot and cold cereals, soups and salad dressings.
This is an easy way to increase the fibre and nutritional content of your food, lower the calories and decrease the fat.
It is also suggested that chia forms this gel in the stomach, slowing the process of breaking down foods by digestive enzymes, which would also slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This helps to keep sugar levels stable and prevent an insulin surge. Since the chia gel retains water, it helps to retain electrolyte balance which is very important when exercising.
So add some Energy Fields Chia to your diet today. Add it to our amazing Vital Start Muesli for an even higher nutrient intake. It's easy to use and the benefits are amazing!
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