Ancient Food Makes A Comeback
Sprouted Chia Conquers the Superfood World
Ever wish you could go for a hike without bringing a pack of food? Or what about running a marathon on meal equivalent to what a gerbil might eat? What if you could lose weight in a 100% natural way while loading your body with nutrients, antioxidants and essential oils?
One of the best kept secrets in nutrition is the seed of a desert plant called chia, among the most nourishing, energy-giving, endurance-sustaining foods ever discovered.
Chia known as the “running food” has long been a dietary staple documented as far back as the Ancient Aztecs time and is now being cultivated as a domestic crop and made available to the public.
The benefits of Chia astonished the sports world not so long ago when Ciraldo Chacarito a Tarahumara Indian from the Copper Canyon region of Mexico won a 2oo mile race at the age of 52 in handmade sandals. His competitors had trained hard for this event and came prepared with the latest in racing gear and best trainers available to be blown away by Ciraldo who had no conditioning at all.
He says his secret was chia. This remarkable SUPERFOOD is providing more nutrients and energy in just a handful of seeds than most well balanced meals can provide.
Chia seed is an exceptional source of Omega-3, fiber, protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. The all natural, non-GMO, pesticide free seed is also gluten free, cholesterol free, 100% organic and has an antioxidant activity similar to that of fresh blueberries.
The importance of Sprouted Grain
The problems associated with eating refined and processed grains is being touted as new “research” but in actual fact, traditionally all grains and seeds including rice were sprouted before being eaten.
Unlike processed grains, sprouted grains are extremely nutritious and a great source of Vitamin C, carotenoid A, B vitamins, and minerals. Health benefits of Wheat, rice, and other grains depend entirely on how they are eaten.
The refining process strip grains of most nutrients as the brain and germ are removed for longer preservation. When making white flour over half the vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, Folic Acid, Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper, Iron, and Fibre are lost.
Chia: A Super Omega food
No grain compares to chia for nutritional benefits. Chia seed is a Super Omega containing 2 times the protein of other grains and 3-10 times the Omega oils. One of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids is found in Chia seeds, in fact the name Chia is derived from the Aztec word ‘Chian’ meaning “Oily”.
The believed ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is between 3-1 & 4-1, most Americans are found to have 20 times the Omega-6 oils as Omega 3. Chia seeds contain a near sixty-forty ratio of omega 3’s to Omega 6s. Chia also has among the highest known levels of unsaturated fat content.
Chia is also a winner when it comes to polyunsaturates, this seed oil rates on top by far in comparison. Chia also boasts the highest content of alpha-linolenic acid at 60% of its oil as opposed to less than 10% found among commercial oils (Soybean, Canola).
Having an antioxidant activity similar to that of fresh blueberries, chia gel is an ideal antioxidant to add to pre-packaged food products. Antioxidants found in Chia include caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin & kaemferol. There is simply no other grain on the market that can match the antioxidant level in chia, nor the versatility. Unlike flaxseed, the naturally high level of antioxidants in chia protect the omega 3 oils from oxidation so it does not have to be refrigerated or treated by chemical processes.
Research done in diabetic subjects has shown that Chia is a low glycemic index food. This means that eating Chia (Salvia hispanica L) with other food decreases the blood sugar spike an hour after a meal. As such, the subsequent sugar drop an hour later is less intense, and this is known to lead to decreased feelings of hunger.
Further research in diabetic subjects shows that about 40 grams of Chia per day results in significantly decreased systolic blood pressure. C-reactive protein (CRP), a blood protein that is a measure of chronic inflammation, was also reduced significantly.
High blood pressure is a known risk factor for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Chronic inflammation has emerged as a cardiovascular risk factor that is more predictive than obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and even high cholesterol. Chia may help to address several of these factors as it is a good source of fibre and contains fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation.
Traditional diets consist of large volumes of low-calorie, low nutrition foods or fluids to fool the stomach into a feeling of fullness, chia seeds bring satiation and nutritional richness with few calories, achieving fullness though a slow release process.
The phenomenal appetite depressing chia seeds absorb 7 times their weight in water and form a gel like substance. It’s believed this same transformation takes place in your stomach when chia is eaten. This gel then forms a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, slowing the conversion from carbs to sugar.
Chia can be incorporated into a wide variety of recipes with little or no effect on their flavour or texture. The chia’s slightly nutty essence mixes well with other ingredients and can enhance aroma and tastes. Chia is a great option for gluten free or kosher diets.
Try chia gel in salad dressings to double volume but cut calories by 50 percent. Also works great as a thickening agent for soups and gravy’s while adding nutritional benefits.
Chia is a wonderful furniture polish and can be used as a preservative coating to keep paintings from oxidizing. It’s also being used as a gum-thickener in cosmetics.
The jingle Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia has so much more meaning to today’s health conscious consumer. This new SUPERFOOD will soon be found in everything from breakfast cereal to bread making products we might normally pass on, a healthy cha-cha-cha-choice!