The Super Food Chia SEEDS
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Wikipedia "Chia seeds are a food rich in Omega 3 fatty acids"
According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese,] similar in nutrient content to other edible seeds such as flax or sesame. Although preliminary research indicates potential for dietary health benefits.
1.5 lb black chia seed ($8.50 /lb) also in 3, 6, bag options
Chia has often been described as the “World’s Healthiest Whole Food” and is cited as such in the January 2010 issue of “O” magazine, page 91. There are many things that can be said about chia and its health benefits. The way I often talk of chia in general terms is to say chia contains four main components: omega3 fatty acids, fiber (soluble and insoluble), antioxidants and protein.
Of these four components, three have been shown to have significant health benefits. Specifically, omega3 fatty acids and fiber have been shown to have positive health benefits in terms of heart health. Omega3 fatty acids and antioxidants have been shown to help reduce inflammation and increase immunity.
When you consume chia, your body will utilize those components of the seed that will most beneficially affect it, and hence will tend to improve your health. Some people have experienced reduced cholesterol levels, some have seen less joint pain, some have lost weight (due to the fiber acting to promote satiety), some have have had increased energy and stamina. As with any food, the effect it will have on your body will vary, and could be from being nothing to being very significant.
The following articles were written to provide more insight into chia and how it can affect your body’s health:
Chia Types of Products for Sale
Is all chia seed created equal? Is one kind of chia seed better than another? Having started my research on chia seed at the University of Arizona in 1991, I believe that I understand the crop, its health benefits, etc. as well as anyone. First of all you need to be aware of the various forms chia and its components are sold. There are four possibilities:
- Whole chia seed
- Milled (ground) chia seed
- Ground chia flour (what is left after most of the oil has been extracted, and then has been ground)
- Chia oil
How do they compare?
Whole chia seed is the way Mother Nature produces this crop. In theory, milled (ground) chia seed should allow chia seeds’ nutritional benefits to be readily available for the body to use, but there is no scientific proof that this is the case with chia. Ground chia flour contains significantly less Omega-3, but has more fiber and protein and all of the antioxidants in the whole seed.
Chia seed’s composition varies depending on where it is grown and when it is grown. Cooler climates (or higher elevations) increase the oil content, which in turn increases the omega-3 content.
Now what about the chia you can buy on the internet and in stores?
Consider the following when purchasing Chia seeds:
- There is a dramatic range in chia seed prices. When comparing prices, also look at the weight, since package sizes vary dramatically.
- Stated chia seed composition varies. Complicating the comparison process is the fact that serving size varies. To compare products you need to use a standard size, say 100 grams, convert the sellers stated compositional amounts per serving to a 100 gram size, then calculate how much does the omega3, for example, cost per 100 grams.
- Be aware that the chia seed’s label values and website values are what the seller claims the composition to be. All label values have been rounded, and FDA regulations allow a margin for error in them. Depending upon the test method used to determine the values, and the quality of the facility that determined them, variations are very likely.
- Another consideration is cleanliness and maturity of the chia seed. I have seen chia seeds being sold that are not only dirty, but contain weed seeds and plant parts. I also have seen chia seed sold that hasn’t had the opportunity to mature. Both of these problems will dramatically reduce the nutritional value of the chia seeds. Our seeds are certified mature.
Hence all stated chia seed values should be considered as a guide, especially since some websites provide absolutely no analysis information about their chia. Once you have located quality chia seeds, you can begin using them in various chia seed recipes.
My best advice: do not judge chia seed by price alone. Reputation is a key consideration.
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