Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Why I Love Chia Seeds

I first learned about chia seeds when I read the book "Born To Run" almost 10 years ago. The Tarahumara Indians used the seeds in a cocktail that allowed for what seemed like super-human strength and endurance. So how could you not want to give that a try, right?

Not knowing too much about the nutritional qualities of this seed back then, I started adding a couple of tablespoons to my morning routine, and have never stopped. As I transitioned my career to the health and fitness industry by becoming a certified personal trainer and nutritional counselor, I began to appreciate the amazing benefits of incorporating it into my daily eating routine.

Here are a few reasons why you should add chia seeds to your daily routine:

1. Helps You Lose Weight:

Chia seeds can help you lose weight in a couple of different ways. The first is that the insane amount of fiber in a chia seed absorbs tons of water and expands your stomach. This makes you feel full. When you feel full, you stop eating. Also, they are high in protein, which helps to satiate you and reduce your hunger response. The result? Eat less food, shrink your stomach, and lose weight. Since most weight gain is the result of "overeating", they can help you lose weight. The second is that the chia seeds slow the absorption of food, which aids in weight loss

2. Helps To Prevent Cancer:

Chia seeds have a high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage the molecules in cells and be a major contributor to diseases like cancer. The molecular damage caused by free radicals also accelerates the aging process.

3. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease:

Chia seeds have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. By lowering LDL cholesterol, you reduce the potential for the buildup of this goo on the walls of your arteries, which allows for better blood flow. The HDL cholesterol is like a guy in a hazmat suit that removes the toxic LDL goo from your arteries. So not only are you reducing the bad stuff, you are boosting the good stuff. This all adds up to better heart health.

They are best absorbed when added to food during prep. If you start your day off with a morning smoothie, put a tablespoon in with the mix. If you like to cook up some oatmeal, add a tablespoon while cooking. Sprinkle them on salads, add to your cold drink after a workout, add it to sauces. The possibilities are endless.

Chia seeds best ways to purchase chia seeds is in bulk. You pay a fortune for the little seed when you buy it in a store like Whole Foods. Try Costco or Amazon and buy a big bag. You will save a ton of money this way, which will allow you to eat them every day.

One word of caution about the chia seeds - When you cook with the seed, like in oatmeal and sauces, make sure that you do not allow any seeds to escape down the drain. You see, the seed will basically sprout and grow ANYWHERE, like in your trap in your drainpipe. One day, I turned on the water in my sink only to find the drain hopelessly clogged. I called the plumber and he snaked the pipe. What do you think he found? Yup. There was a gig ole Chia Pet growing in my drainpipe.

Start enjoying the health benefits of chia seeds today. You will be glad you did.

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