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Chia Seeds: A Raw and Living Superfood for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue and Creating Vibrant Health, Stamina and Endurance

By Ritamarie Loscalzo


Chia Seeds benefitsI recommend chia seeds quite often in my articles, talks and recipes. It dawned on me though, that I don’t always talk about the many benefits of chia, so I decided to make chia our super food of the month!

Commonly associated with Chia Pets™, chia seeds have amazing health benefits that are often kept quiet and hidden.  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.

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 creates, makes it harder for carbohydrates to be digested which in turn slows down the process of transforming carbs into starch and ultimately sugar.

Chia also has a tremendous ability to hold water – up to 12 times its weight. This helps our bodies to hold on to the water and moisture inside, giving strength and support to precious electrolyte balances.
Given the fact our bodies are mostly water, staying hydrated is incredibly important.

Other 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
  • High in fiber content
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Great source of protein

Chia seeds are fast becoming known as a superfood.

In the popular book, Born To Run, author, Christopher McDougall,  tells us how chia seed is the secret food of  theBorn to Run 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.

You can make a gel from the chia seeds by placing 1 cup of chia and 5 cps of water in a bowl and allowing it to seit 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 purring, added to smoothies or salad dressings or made into dehydrated crackers or crisps.

White Chia seeds - superfoodChia seeds are available as white seeds or black seeds. There is no significant nutritional difference between the the colors.  The black ones are more common.  Chia seeds are also sold as Salba and Milo, at a much higher price.  These are identical to chia seeds.

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.

High quality chia seeds can be purchased at Raw Food World and Hidalgo Natural Foods, http://www.hidalgofoods.com.

This month I’m including two of my favorite recipes:  Chia Pudding and Chia Crisps. Watch my video on making chia pudding.






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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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  1. Susan on June 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Great article! Hard to believe such a small seed can pack such a powerful health benefit. It’s time for me to add Chia to our raw food challenge. Thanks~

  2. Garin Kilpatrick on July 28, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I have done some research and discovered a superior product to chia, called Salba. Salba has been medically studied and proven to have more protein and omega 3’s than chia. Salba even has a medical patent. The seeds are white, which is a nice added benefit. Thanks for sharing this info! 🙂

    • Ritamarie Loscalzo on July 30, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      My understanding was that chia and salba were one and the same and that chia is much more affordable. No one has yet been able to point me to reputable studies that show otherwise. If you have access to studies please share and I’ll post an update. thanks

  3. The Superfood Guy on August 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    good stuff, thanks for the info. I like to use chia seeds in jams and stuff that you can make with that chia seeds and apple juice. its a great base for jams, try it out. Thanks for the article, good stuff.

  4. Rob on October 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hi I sell chia seeds in the UK and Europe and I have also yet to see any difference between Salba seeds and chia seeds EXcept the price and colour…
    My chia seeds are quality and I and many others use them for training to weight loss with some encouraging results. Take a look at http://www.chia4uk.com for recipies and buying cheap good quality chia seeds for UK and Europe. Thank you.

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