Chia Seeds a Super-food but Beware.

By Tovah Kersner

Out of the Box Remedies

Salvia Hispanica. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Salvia hispanica, or commonly known as Chia seeds, have gained popularity over the last few years, because anyone who has eaten them, feels the benefits of this great super food. Gluten and grain free, it’s perfect for anyone with allergies or on a gluten-free diet.

Chia is a flowering plant belonging to the mint family, from Southern and Central Mexico and Guatamala.  Going back to the 16th century, it’s known that this plant was cultivated by the Mayan and Aztec cultures, and has been suggested by historians that Chia was as important as the Maize crops. Chia means strength and folklore has it that these cultures used this little black and white seed as an energy booster.

The Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds

A one ounce (28 grm) serving of Chia Seeds contains: 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams sodium, 11 grams dietary fibre, 4 grams protein, 18% of recommended daily intake of Calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese. These nutrient values are similar to flax and sesame seeds.

  • Chia Seeds contains all eight essential amino acids, plus a host of trace minerals and micro-nutrients.
  • Five times the omega-3 content of a serving of salmon.

    Out of the Box Remedies

    A spoon full of goodness. Photo Credit: Real Food Source.

  • Twice the Iron and Magnesium than a cup of spinach.
  • The Calcium equivalent to half a cup of milk.
  • The Potassium of half a banana.
  • Twice the fibre of a cup of oatmeal.

Chia Seeds are also a potent antioxidant source on par with blueberries and other blue or red fruits. It has very impressive levels of quercetin, kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid, four powerful antioxidants that provide many health benefits. An additional benefit of these high levels of antioxidants in chia seeds, is that they can last for years without spoiling, despite lacking the hard—and indigestible—outer shell of other edible seeds like flax.

A Satisfying Super Food for Weight Loss.

I personally find that eating a serving or two of chia seeds everyday, I feel better and have more energy. I see an improvement in my skin, and the wrinkles seem to smooth out! I prefer to add it raw and crunchy, to other grains like buckwheat and quinoa or add it to a yoghurt and fruit for breakfast. There is always a glass shaker on the table for instant use! I don’t feel as hungry, so it’s great for weight loss or maintaining weight, as the seed becomes gelatinous when it’s wet, thereby giving me a satisfied feeling.

Other ways to eat Chia seeds are:

  • Add to baking (Link to some great recipes below)
  • Shakes & smoothies
  • Drinks & jams
  • Add raw seeds to other grains, e.g brown rice, barley to get an overall nutritional value.
  • Energy Bars (Link to recipe below)
  • Bread & puddings
  • Chia seed sprouts and micro greens. Watch the time-lapse video! See also: A Garden on your windowsill – Micro-greens.
  • A substitute for eggs.
  • Tea from the chia plant leaves

 

Although by nature Chia Seeds are organic, because of the nature of the leaves, they don’t usually get attacked by bugs or other creepy crawly’s, so pesticides are not necessary. However, this is the BEWARE part of this post… it’s extremely important to check where they are grown.

Today the Biggest Exporter of Chia Seeds is China. 

As we are all aware, there are many pollutants in the air, with plumes of poisonous gas emissions of industry, over spraying of pesticides on farmland and sometimes, seemingly ever more frequently, chem-trails hailing down on us with their poisonous chemicals and of course the GMO meddling of many foods,  all of which are not so slowly, wrecking our planet.

Amongst the worst of these countries are China, who are one of the largest produces of Chia Seeds. It has been reported by China’s Ministry of Land and Resources that 60 percent of China’s drinking water is undrinkable. The water used for agriculture has become so polluted, from leakage of poor sewage systems and polluted rivers.

Chia seeds and other health products are manufactured in vast quantities in China, which appear on many supermarket shelves in many countries. The USA is probably the largest importer of goods, many of which are deadly to your health.  The presence of heavy metals and polluted water have penetrated these seeds and other so called ‘natural products’. Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal that is turning up in many health food products, super-foods such as Chia Seeds, vitamin pills and supplements.

Other metals found in some Chia seeds, and especially rice proteins used in health drinks are: Tungsten and Aluminium

  1. How to rid heavy metals from your body. 
  2. Depending on where you are in the world, it’s important to find the source of your food supply.
  3. Check out the source of ‘natural or organic’ labels. They might not be so natural.
  4. Investigate the ‘Organic’ suppliers of your Chia Seeds.
  5. As with many good quality things they usually become very expensive according to the demand. Good quality organic Chia Seeds are getting very expensive.
  6. Our strategy at Out of the Box Remedies is to have a good supply of seed, and we’ve started to grow our own organic plants.
  7. One plant will grow hundreds of seeds.
  8. We live in a sub-tropical climate which is ideal for growing chia plants outside, but they can also be grown indoors for cold climate dwellers.
  9. For a reliable source of Chia seeds in the USA go to Natural News Store
  10. Europe is I believe GMO free and many of the organic certified products are reliable. It’s always best to check and make enquiries yourself.

Related Sources for this article.

 

 

 

About Tovah

Certified Substance Abuse and Addictions Professional, (CASAP) I still do voluntary work in my profession. For many years I've been a natural health enthusiast. Using natural remedies and eating healthy natural food, which many years ago, I believe saved my life. I'm a contributing writer of blogs for Out of the Box Remedies and I'm starting a new blog: Out of the Box Seeds, to share my experiences about, Indoor and Balcony Vegetable Gardening.
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3 Responses to Chia Seeds a Super-food but Beware.

  1. Pingback: What is the Deadly MERS Virus – is it like SARS? | Out of the Box Remedies

  2. Linda H says:

    Chia is indeed a wonder food based on all the nutrients packed in those tiny seeds. You make an important point of checking the environments and soils they are grown in before consuming. Another thing to consider is one can be allergic to chia. For myself, I was instructed to consume 4Tbs per day for protein, EFAs, fiber etc, by my dr. It’s such a health food on paper I thought , “Why not?” It hook me nearly a year to connect the constant, stinging, skin pain I was experiencing to chia seed allergy! The seeds seem so innocuous and amazing I never considered that my body would reject them.

    • Tovah says:

      Wow! Thank you for commenting on such an important point about these precious little seeds. Your the first person to mention this on this blog or any other that I’ve seen about Chia. Glad you’ve solved the problem. To good health always. Tovah

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