Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Vegetarian Seed Power – by Julie Daniluk!
Don’t miss a special guest post by featured upcoming presenter Julie Daniluk, who will be at Nature’s Newmarket this month for her event “Slimming Meals That Heal: Healthy Weight-loss Through Healthy Living One Meal at a Time!”
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk, RHN hosts Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her award-winning bestseller, Meals That Heal Inflammation, has helped over 100,000 people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great and assist the body in the healing process. Her new book, Slimming Meals That Heal, explores why inflammation causes weight gain and how anti-inflammatory superfoods shed pounds without dieting.
This month, Julie will be at Nature’s Newmarket for her special event “Slimming Meals That Heal: Healthy Weight-loss Through Healthy Living One Meal at a Time!” – presented by our friends at Ascenta – and she was gracious enough to share a special article with us, in support of the event.
We hope you enjoy the article, and can’t wait to see you out at this informative event!
Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia! Vegetarian Seed Power!
By Julie Daniluk
Not only do chia seeds make a festive pet, they’re exceptionally good plant-based sources of protein, calcium, magnesium, and inflammation-fighting antioxidants. A member of the mint family, Salvia hispanica is an Aztec super grain that boasts the highest known whole-food source of dietary fibre.
[blockquote_left] The word “chia” is derived from the word chian that means oily for good reason. More than half the calories in chia come from the anti-inflammatory fat, the plant omega 3 called a-linolenic acid (ALA). [/blockquote_left]
The word “chia” is derived from the word chian that means oily for good reason. More than half the calories in chia come from the anti-inflammatory fat, the plant omega 3 called a-linolenic acid (ALA).
In the United States, the first substantial wave of chia seed sales were tied to chia pets in the 1980s. About 500,000 chia pets are sold per year. Now if we can just convince people to eat the seed versus just looking at it, we could transform our health!
Here are 5 more reasons to pick up these powerful little seeds the next time you’re at the health food store:
- Chia seeds help regulate blood sugar: Chia seeds contain healthy fats that, when consumed as a part of a balanced meal, help stabilize blood sugar. The healthy fats in chia seeds decrease the overall glycemic index of whatever it is you’re eating alongside them. As I outline in my books, managing your glycemic index to minimize a blood sugar rollercoaster ride helps prevent and control inflammatory conditions. Not only is the fat in chia seeds beneficial, but the fibre in chia seeds also has blood sugar stabilizing properties. Chia’s fibre helps minimize spikes by slowing down the rate at which food is broken down into sugar.
- Speaking of fibre, chia seeds help regulate the digestive system: Chia seeds are a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre, which along with water, is necessary for moving things out of the body and maintaining a healthy digestive system. The mucilaginous gel coating the seeds helps the body sweep out wastes and toxins. Fibre-rich foods like chia seeds minimize your risk of developing constipation or a more serious inflammatory bowel condition such as diverticulitis.
- Chia seeds boost brain function: As mentioned above, chia seeds contain healthy fats called essential fatty acids. Not only that, but they contain an optimal ratio of brain-friendly omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that support brain structure and brain function from memory to mental health. Talk about brain food!
- Chia seeds contain heart-healthy a-linolenic acid (ALA): A promising Toronto-based study concluded that the presence of the amino acid ALA in chia seeds may reduce peoples’ levels of C-reactive protein, a marker that can be used to measure the overall level of inflammation in the body and a widely-accepted indicator in predicting risk for cardiovascular disease. Supplementation with a few tablespoons (approximately 3 ½ tablespoons in this study) of chia seeds, in conjunction with conventional therapies and a fibre-rich diet, minimized inflammation and risk factors for cardiovascular episodes among people with type ll diabetes. Similarly, clinical trials at the University of Arizona showed a decrease in serum triglycerides (TG) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) while simultaneously increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and omega-3 PUFA levels.
- Chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based protein: Just one 28 g serving (2 tbsp.) of this cholesterol-free protein source added to a breakfast or smoothie provides a remarkable additional 4.6 g of easily-absorbable protein.
By Julie Daniluk RHN, bestselling author of Meals That Heal Inflammation / Slimming Meals That Heal and co-host of the Healthy Gourmet on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). For more information check out juliedaniluk.com. Share with Julie on Twitter:@juliedaniluk& Facebook: Julie Daniluk Nutrition
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