There’s a very special food Dara has been recommending to her patients for many years that’s seen a sudden popularity over the past few years.
In fact, the secret of this seed’s power has created a number of companies that are selling it at an exorbitant price and claiming it as the super food that is the answer to all medical problems.
Here’s a quote from a newsletter by a popular N.M.D. who calls himself “America’s Natural Doctor”.
“Unbelievable as it sounds, Dr. Spreen has discovered a stunning secret that can transform ANY food — even decadent treats like fresh-baked brownies — into a nutritional goldmine that rivals superfoods like salmon, broccoli, and blueberries.
But as perfect as this food is, news about its amazing potential simply hasn’t become public…At least, not yet.”
He then sends the reader to a video which goes on and on about a magic seed that sounds too good to be true.
We have a really hard time with this kind of advertising for obvious reasons.
The magic food turns out to be Chia seed, salvia hispanica.
Dr. Spreen discovered it? It’s not public? Where have these guys been?
Let's shed some light on the truth here…via Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo -
- I’ve been teaching about the “magic” of chia seeds for at least 12 years now, long before they became popular.
- There are dozens of books on Kindle about chia seeds.
- There are dozens of retailers online and hundreds in brick and mortar businesses that sell chia seeds. This page on Amazon alone shows thousands of results for dozens of brands Amazon’s Search Results Page for Chia
- There’s a MLM that sells Chia for $70 per pound! While I am all for getting the word out, I have a hard time with the concept of overcharging people.
- The chia that the video I referred to above is a promotion for a company that sells it for $30 per pound. You can find it on Amazon for as little as $9 per pound!
I love chia seeds and I have seen so many wonderful results when adding chia seeds to the diet.
In fact, listening to that video was good for one thing…it reminded me to recommend that people incorporate a tablespoon or two of chia with each meal.
So what’s so magical about chia?
Most people have heard about Chia seeds in relation to the Chia Pets that were popular back in the 90’s. Long before the advent of chia pets, the use of chia as food has been dated as far back as 3500 B.C., especially in Mexico, where chia was ground for flour, used in medicines and even pressed for oils.
Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family.
When chia seeds are mixed with water, they form a gelatinous substance. This same substance is believed to form in your stomach when you eat them. The coating this makes it harder for carbohydrates to be digested which in turn slows down the process of transforming carbs into starch and ultimately sugar.
Chia can hold up to 12 times its weight in water. This makes it the perfect food for making puddings and porridge. It also helps your body to hold on to water and moisture inside, thus strengthening your electrolyte and mineral status and helping you to stay hydrated.
Benefits of chia include:
- A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
- A favorable .3 to 1 ratio of Omega 6 to omega 3 fats. Research shows that when you eat foods with more omega 6 fats than omega 3 fats, you are much more prone to inflammation, which causes pain and disease.
- An excellent source of calcium–18% of the recommended daily intake for calcium
- Excellent source of phosphorus, containing 27% of your daily value. Phosphorus is used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.
- High in fiber content. An ounce of chia has about 11 grams of soluble fiber, about a third of an adult’ daily requirement.
- Rich in antioxidants
- Manganese 30% of your recommended intake
- Great source of protein–4.4 grams of protein in 1 ounce
- Fight belly fat by controlling insulin resistance and blood sugar
- Curb appetite by filling you up
- Improves Heart Health by controlling blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides
- Chia seeds are known to contribute to strength and endurance. In the popular book, Born to Run, author Christopher McDougall, reveals that chia seed is the secret food of the powerful runners of the Tumahumara tribe in South America. They make a drink called Chia Fresca, made with 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 12 ounces of water, lemon or lime juice and a splash of honey.
- Chia has long been regarded as a superfood for athletes. Several studies with long distance runners and triathletes have shown superior performance in the groups that ate chia seeds over the groups that did not.
The uses of chia are almost limitless.
Breads, crackers, puddings and sprouts are just a few ways to use chia seeds.
Basic Chia Gel Recipe: You can make a gel from the chia seeds by placing 1 cup of chia and 5-6 cups of water in a bowl and allowing it to sit for several hours or overnight until all the water has been absorbed and a thick gel is formed. This gel can be used as the basis for pudding, added to smoothies or salad dressings or made into dehydrated crackers or crisps. It can also be used to make energizing beverages, similar to the Tumahumarra Chia Fresca.
Chia seeds are available as white seeds or black seeds. There is no significant nutritional difference between the colors. The black ones are more commonly available.
Chia seeds are also sold as Salba, Ben Via Gold and Milo, at a much higher price. These are identical to chia seeds, although the manufacturers will tell you that their seeds are nutritionally superior. However, even if they do have slightly higher nutrient contents, it does not justify the exorbitant price, ranging from $30 to $70 per pound.
NOTE: When purchasing chia, be sure you are getting organic or a very high agricultural standard chia. Those used for the Chia Pets, are generally loaded with pesticides and not suitable for consumption.
Add a tablespoon or two of chia seeds to lunch and as part of a salad dressing, dip or soup.
The sky’s the limit!
And without further adieu; here is Dara Thompson's delicious recipe from lecture one!
- 4 cups almond cashew or coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 16 tablespoons / 1 cup : chia seeds
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup
- mix all ingredients in large bowl or pyrex container : cover + refrigerate for 12 hours - stirring occasionally to evenly distribute the chia seeds.