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Apr 22, 2010

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Chia, is familiar to most people as a seed used for the novelty of the Chia Pet™, clay animals with sprouted Chia seeds covering their bodies. However, the seeds have tremendous nutritional value and medicinal properties. For centuries this seed was a staple food for the Indians of the south west and Mexico. This high energy endurance food, has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. The Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. march. Indians running from the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed as their nourishment.

 

   If you mix a spoonful of Chia in a glass of water and leave it for thirty minutes or more, when you return the glass will appear to contain an almost solid gelatin. This gel-forming reaction is due to the soluble fiber in the Chia. Researchers believe this same gel-forming phenomenon takes place in the stomach when food containing these gummy fibers, known as mucilages, are eaten. The gel that is formed in the stomach creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.

 

Chia seeds are a muscle and tissue builder and an energizer with extensive hydration properties.

As a source of protein, the Chia, after ingestion, is digested and absorbed very easily.

 

Another unique quality if the Chia seed is its high oil content, and is the richest vegetable source for the essential omega-3 fatty acid.  It has approximately three to ten times the oil concentrations of most grains and one and a half to two times the protein concentrations of other grains. Chia seeds are rich in the unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid.Unsaturated fatty acids are important for respiration of vital organs and make it easier for oxygen to be transported by the blood stream to all cells, tissues, and organs. They also help maintain resilience and lubrication of all cells and combine with protein and cholesterol to form living membranes that hold the body cells together.

 

The Chia seed is also a rich source of calcium as it contains the important mineral boron, which acts as catalyst for the absorption and utilization of the calcium by the body.

 

 

Do you use Chia in your diet?

Would you?

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Posted: Apr 22, 2010 1:40pm

 

 
 
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Kellee Ganci
, 1, 1 child
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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