Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's with the Chia?

Why do I eat Chia?  I’m asked so many times why I’m consuming Chia seeds and if it will grow unwanted hair (haha, NO).  As an athlete in an endurance sport, it is important to know what one puts in their body and how it works to make her/him the best athlete they can be.  After quite a bit of research and talking with other running friends, I began using Chia and love it. 

It is now available in many grocery stores, whole food and health stores and easily accessible on line.  It stores forever and can be added to yogurt, smoothies, eggs, oatmeal, salads, etc.  I’ve even known people who add them into turkey patties and spaghetti sauce. 

Here’s what is so great about the Chia seed:

10. 1 ounce of Chia uses 2.8% of the calories in a 2000 calorie diet. The full daily servings only add up to 139 calories and 1 ounce of Chia Seeds has a Glycemic Index of 1. 
9. Chia seeds have many benefits for vegetarians. Chia seeds are great for vegetarians because unlike flaxseed, chia can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid and don't require grinding.
8. Chia Seeds fill you up - When they come in contact with water, pudding, juice, yogurt etc. they grow to 9x their size and they slow down the absorbtion of carbs to control the appetite.
7. Gluten free Chia Seeds are very good for a Raw Food Diet because they are high in protein, calcium, omega 3 and 6 and don't need to be cooked. Unlike Flax Seed, you do not have to ground up Chia Seeds when you make a smoothie.
6. Chia Seeds are great for workouts. Prior to a run or athletic event which you need to hydrate,  Chia Seeds in a bottle of water will help you hydrate. They will also help with protein to do the event without cramping up.  Chia is good for the digestive system because it is a hydrophillic colloid.
5. Chia Seeds are high in Omega 3 - 1 oz of Chia Seeds has 4915mg of Omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids are loaded with protein which is great for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Chia Seeds are high in calcium and naturally have Boron in them which tranfers the calcium into your bones.
4. Chia Seeds are good for a Diabetic - 1 oz of Chia Seeds has a Glycemic Index of 1. Chia seed supplies fiber in 2 forms: insoluble (won't dissolve in water) from its outer coat and soluble fiber (will dissolve in water) from its inner shell. Soluble fiber has been found helpful in lowering cholesterol and diabetes

3. Chia Seeds are high in fiber and help digestion.
2. Chia Seeds are good for your Thyroid - They are known to help deal with thyroid medication symptoms like lack of energy,dry skin and hair, thyroid weight problems, and colon issues.
1. Chia Seeds are good for lowering cholesterol - Chia seed supplies fiber in 2 forms: insoluble (won't dissolve in water) from its outer coat and soluble fiber (will dissolve in water) from its inner shell. Soluble fiber has been found helpful in lowering cholesterol and diabetes. Also the omega 3 and 6 has been shown to help.

I recently read that the organic chia seed serves as fuel for the Tarahumara people. The Tahumara people are popular because of their bare foot runners. Mostly their populations are all barefoot runners and their runners are from all ages and gender. They are also famous for running hundreds of miles without stopping.

For endurance runners who buy chia seeds, and make them part of their regular diet, they find the seed boosts their stamina and endurance. Not only that but the seeds can also help the athletes by repairing their muscles in the body faster than the usual recommended protein recovery smoothie.  It is also because of the absurd amount of proteins it contain, and a form that could easily be accessed by the parts of the body. It allows them to be from injuries faster than normal if they take it up regularly.

So that’s why I eat Chia seeds.  I add them to my yogurt, and my cheeseless omelettes, and even my salads.  I’ve been known to hide them in spaghetti sauce without the family’s knowledge as well.  Biggest problem with chia seeds – you have to check your teeth afterwards because those little things get stuck in them (much like a popcorn!). 

I encourage you to discover how Chia can help you as well.  
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