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Dr. Oz was on Oprah again talking about anti-aging.

He brought up this seed he said he discovered people eating somewhere in South America. However, it's apparently common in Mexico and Central America and was an important staple in Mesoamerica. They make drinks and grind it into a meal. And yes, it is the stuff they sprout out of a chia pet's head.

Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid and don't require grinding (whole flaxseed is tough to digest). Chia provides fiber (about 2 tablespoons--25 g--give you 7 g of fiber) as well as other important nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, niacin, and zinc.
Edited by alternativista

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That's very interesting. I always wanted to eat the sprouts on my chia pets, but I didn't know if those were edible.

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Yeah, seeds are generally very nutritious, but I've never felt that they're very bioavailable.

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Yeah, seeds are generally very nutritious, but I've never felt that they're very bioavailable.

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Yeah, seeds are generally very nutritious, but I've never felt that they're very bioavailable.

Meaning they aren't utilized well by the body? Is that true? Those have everything I'm looking for...Be nice to just scoop 'em into my mouth, or soups and salads like I can w/flax seed.

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Recipe I found. I don't know if this is a good milk substitute, but thought some might want to try it.

Chia Milk (makes full blender jar — 5 cups)

4 Tbsp. Chia seeds 2 Tbsp. Walnuts 2 Tbsp. Raw sesame tahini 2 Tbsp. Unheated, unfiltered honey dash of vanilla (optional) 5 cups water (see our webpage, How to "Make" Good Water) In a jar or glass, soak seeds and walnuts overnight in 3 cups of water. Pour into blender jar, add 1 cup of water, and turn on blender, running it at medium speed. With blender running, add tahini, honey, and vanilla, then add 1 more cup of water. Blend only until smooth.

Chia Fresca is the seeds mixed in water and add lime or lemon juice and sugar. But don't use sugar.

I'd try less honey in the milk recipe too. Or try stevia.

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Sounds tasty. You can use whole psyllium seeds exactly as you would chia. They both absorb insane amounts of water and turn into a gelatinous mass of soluble fiber.

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If I got chia seeds.. could I just swallow them like a pill rather than actually eating them? Would it still get digested right if it doesn't get chewed up?

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Does Whole Foods have Chia seeds?

Yours might - mine doesn't

Mine just got chia seeds a couple months ago. They are in the jars with the bulk spices.

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If I got chia seeds.. could I just swallow them like a pill rather than actually eating them? Would it still get digested right if it doesn't get chewed up?

I read it's best if it's broken up a bit. I'm going to use a coffee nut grinder for it. I love that the chia seeds have a TON of fiber and especially magnesium :D. I don't think I get enough anyways.

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Hey guys. It's great that you like and use chia, it's very good and healthy for you. Unlike flax, it does not need to be ground to be ingested and used by the body. Here's a quick piece I wrote about chia...

Where Dr Oz Left Off About Chia…

There are many people on message boards asking questions about Chia seed after its mention by Dr. Oz on the Oprah show. Most of the information about it on the web is from the vegan point of view. Here’s some straight forward information about Chia for the rest of us.

Chia’s Benefits and Why They’re Important:

• Omega Fatty Acids: Chia seeds contain about 32% Omega fatty acids which is very high and rare for a seed. They are 61% Omega-3 (ALA) and 20% Omega-6 (LA). Both are essential fatty acids and aid in the prevention of heart disease.

• Fiber: Chia seeds contain about 42% fiber; 5% soluble fiber and 36% insoluble fiber. Fiber

is essential for a healthy gastrointestinal system and inhibiting constipation.

• Protein: Chia seeds contain about 21% protein and are high is essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, for healthy cellular function.

• Calcium: A serving of chia seeds (1Tbls) contains as much calcium as two cups of milk. The calcium in chia seeds aids in bone health as well as para-thyroid, liver and kidney function.

• Extras: Chia seeds also provide iron, magnesium, potassium (equivalent to 3-4 bananas worth), Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, zinc, naturally boost energy and are gluten-free.

Chia vs. Flax:

Digestion: Chia whole or ground seeds are completely digestible. This means all of the benefits listed above are readily available to the body. Flax needs to be ground to release its oils and nutrients; even then, most of the ground seed goes through the body undigested.

Rancidity: Most Omega-3 oil products are rancid – the products you’re buying on the store shelves and in store refrigerators. The shelf life of the best available flax oil is approximately 2 months with refrigeration. Properly manufactured and stabilized chia oil has a shelf life of approximately 2 years. Chia seeds have a shelf life of about 5 years; and overall, chia does not have the rancidity problems.

Risk Factors: Flax contains lanamarin, which is a cyanogen (a toxic compound). This can lead to the buildup of poison in the body and possibly make you very sick. Flax is actually banned for human consumption in France; and in fact, many countries recommend consumption of no more than 7grams/ day of flax (about a half Tbls). In the US, flax has never been approved by the FDA.

Chia Product Differences:

Chia does not have the rancidity issues of Flax but that does not mean that all Chia is created equal. Firstly, everyone has heard of Chia Pets. Do NOT consume the seed from Chia Pets, they are not meant for human consumption as the seeds origins are unknown and have most likely been treated with heavy pesticides. Even packages of Chia sold in health food stores may not be grown to high agricultural standards. Chia oil’s shelf life is 2 years only if properly manufactured and stabilized. Also, as of this time, there is no “Certified Organic†chia on the market, so don’t be fooled by any interestingly worded claims on packaging.

I use Chia every day and the brand I use is Red Opal (www.opalnutrition.com). The parent company is science based and oversees every aspect of production from harvesting through packaging. The other reason I like this brand is pricing. As Chia is the hot new item, many other companies are hiking up their prices. I tend to buy mine online to avoid price increases at retail health food stores.

Chia Uses:

Chia has a mild, pleasant, nutty flavor. You can add whole chia seeds to cereal, yogurt, salads, eat them as a snack, or grind them and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods. In any form, it will add omega-3, fiber and protein to everything it’s used in.

When added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. You can add lime or lemon juice and sugar to the gel and make a drink known in Mexico and Central America as "chia fresca" (a great, yummy, healthy treat for kids). Everyday, I add 1 Tbls chia seeds to a small bottle of water with a little juice or Crystal Light, shake it up well and refrigerate it for a half hour. I drink it as a mid morning snack – it’s healthy, tasty, gives a nice jolt of energy to my workday while satiating my hunger.

You can also use the gel mix as a thickening agent for gravies rather than using a butter/ flour roux.

Here’s the link to Dr. Oz’s Chia Muffin Recipe:

Chia History:

Chia was a main source of food for the Aztecs more than 3000 years ago. They were one of four key components of the Aztec and Mayan diets (the others being corn, beans and amaranth oil) and was the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. It is said that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours.

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Calcium: A serving of chia seeds (1Tbls) contains as much calcium as two cups of milk.

An entire ounce will contain less than 200 mg of calcium. A single tablespoon would probably have about half that much.

Your claim about the potassium is also highly exaggerated.

@Paul: Possibly a health food store.

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Yeah, seeds are generally very nutritious, but I've never felt that they're very bioavailable.

Meaning they aren't utilized well by the body? Is that true? Those have everything I'm looking for...Be nice to just scoop 'em into my mouth, or soups and salads like I can w/flax seed.

Yeah, they say that unlike flax seed, they don't have to be ground to get the nutrients. They are very easily digested.

I am going to start looking for them in Mexican markets.

seeds are specifically designed by nature NOT to be digested, so that they will be excreted in your feces and spread throughout the earth to grow.

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oh god D: i have been eating 2 tps of ground flax seed for like 3 days now

ima go whole food and check it out today :dance::dance:

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seeds are specifically designed by nature NOT to be digested, so that they will be excreted in your feces and spread throughout the earth to grow.

Except when soaked in water. Moisture signals that conditions are right for sprouting and the protective coatings break down.

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I use chia seeds in my morning shake and I also use Salba which is the same thing, but they tend to hike the price on it. One can also buy salba flour which makes really tasty muffins!!!

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seeds are specifically designed by nature NOT to be digested, so that they will be excreted in your feces and spread throughout the earth to grow.

Except when soaked in water. Moisture signals that conditions are right for sprouting and the protective coatings break down.

Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.

Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.

Most of these antinutrients are part of the seed's system of preservation—they prevent sprouting until the conditions are right. Plants need moisture, warmth, time and slight acidity in order to sprout. Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature. It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.

The full article is at http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/be_kind.html

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seeds are specifically designed by nature NOT to be digested, so that they will be excreted in your feces and spread throughout the earth to grow.

Except when soaked in water. Moisture signals that conditions are right for sprouting and the protective coatings break down.

Grains require careful preparation because they contain a number of antinutrients that can cause serious health problems. Phytic acid, for example, is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is mostly found in the bran or outer hull of seeds. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in improperly prepared whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.

Other antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.

Most of these antinutrients are part of the seed's system of preservation—they prevent sprouting until the conditions are right. Plants need moisture, warmth, time and slight acidity in order to sprout. Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature. It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.

The full article is at http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/be_kind.html

So basically are you backing up/disagreeing with alternavista's statement?

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So basically are you backing up/disagreeing with alternavista's statement?

Oh, I'm agreeing.

Sorry if that wasn't clear. =P

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