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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Chia
    Supplement Articles  
CHIA (SALVIA HISPANICA)
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)
Last Updated: September 2nd, 2015

Ch-ch-ch-chia...

Did you know that the once popular commercial product known as the chia pet is actually the new super food? That's right, Chia is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and both soluble and insoluble fibre. p.s. Please don't eat your chia pet
 

CHIA

Chia is especially beneficial when sprouted!

Chia seeds are derived from the plant called Salvia hispanica. Salvia hispanica is a flowering plant in the mint family and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia was considered a staple food of the Aztec cultures, who would say that one small serving was all a man needed to run for a day. Australia is now one of the largest producers of chia in the world.

Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, found normally from fish sources. It is both qualitatively and quantitatively high in complete protein, both soluble and insoluble fibre, as well as anti-oxidants, magnesium, calcium, iron and vitamin C.

A study conducted on Salba®, a specific brand of Chia, found that 3.5 oz of Salba® contained as much omega 3 as 28 oz of salmon, as much calcium as 3 cups of milk, and as much iron as 5 cups of raw spinach. Chia is also gluten free, a bonus for those with gluten sensitivities who have a hard time increasing fibre consumption. All that nutrition and it's also low in calories.

Due to chia's high content of fibre and protein many health care professional believe that it can help with weight loss. The fibre expands in the stomach resulting in fullness feeling and slowing the absorption of food. Then the protein help to reduce appetite and food intake. However, the studies that have be done have not shown any effects on weight but when combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle there is a possibility.

Studies have shown its use in the treatment of Type II Diabetes. As a high source of fibre, it regulates blood sugar and insulin release by slowing digestion and therefore preventing the sugar "spikes" that are common after meals. Similarly, chia is said to be complimentary to exercise programs aimed at weight loss, as it keeps individuals feeling satisfied longer and therefore decreases total caloric consumption. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation (It decrease C- reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in our blood.), decrease blood pressure and has blood thinning effects, making it useful in the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis, stroke and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Chia is very easy to add to your diet. The seeds taste bland making it easy to add to basically anything from juice, smoothies, yogurt, porridge, pudding, baked goods or they can be consumed whole in seed form, ground, or sprouted and used in salads and sandwiches. In Mexico, the seeds are soaked until they become gelatinous, and made into a drink called a chia fresco. A common dosage is about 20g (1.5 tablespoons) twice a day but is better to take as directed on the packaging as every manufacturer is different. Be cautious when buying chia that you are buying it from an agriculturally sound company, as to avoid high pesticide consumption.

CHIA – QUICK FACTS

PARTS USED

· seeds of the salvia hispanica plant.

APPLICATIONS

· Type II diabetes, Inflammatory conditions, Obesity, High blood pressure, individuals at risk for atherosclerosis, overall health and wellbeing.

OPTIMUM DOSAGE

· take as directed.

WORKS WELL WITH

·  Ginger, cinnamon, mint, psyllium, calcium/magnesium, aloe vera.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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· It is recommended that you increase your water intake with increased consumption of Salba, as it is high in fibre.

For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.

All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2015.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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