Niagara Gazette — Chia seeds are becoming more popular and are now easily found in the health food section of most grocery stores.
Chia seed is the common name for Salvia Hispanica. It is a species of a flowering plant in the mint family, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Up until now, chia seeds were most known for the popular Christmas gift, the Chia Pet. The chia seed was spread and sprouted over a terra cotta figure, and would resemble hair or fur in just a few weeks.
Constipated individuals should consider the use of chia seeds, as they absorb ten times their weight in water, which forms a bulky gel. This bulky gel will travel through your digestive system with greater ease, making it less likely to become a hard, unmoving blockage.
Those attempting to lose weight will benefit, as chia seed reduces cravings and may prevent some calorie absorption. Chia seed will make you feel full as well as provide some hydrating benefit.
Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They actually contain more omega-3 than salmon. This provides the body with beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Because chia seeds slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars, studies indicate that they can help control blood sugar. This leads scientists to believe chia seeds may have great benefits for diabetics.
Chia seeds are easier to digest than flaxseed, and don’t need to be ground up.
For those suffering from chronic constipation, this recipe has helped many individuals. Mix 1/3 cup of chia seeds with 2 cups of pure water. Wait approximately five minutes and stir the mixture again, as it will have thickened a bit. Drink it down. Now go check a mirror, as you will have to pick some of those black seeds out from between your teeth.
Drinking a large glass of water after taking the chia seeds will help wash them down. Every day (or night if you wish) take 2 tablespoons. They do not taste bad at all, and I have had many clients love the texture of the seeds. Be patient. If your constipation is chronic or severe, it may take three to six days before you experience soft, painless and productive bowel movements.
For individuals suffering from inflammatory conditions such as gout or arthritis, mix one to two tablespoons of chia seed in two ounces of organic, unsweetened cherry juice. I always let the chia sit for a while before drinking it down.
The anti-inflammatory effect of both ingredients will have you feeling better in no time.
Chia seed can be added to anything! Add chia to your salads, rice dishes, oatmeal, meatloaf, turkey burgers, smoothies and anything else you can think of. Remember, most of what everyone suffers from is inflammatory and most do not take enough omega-3’s to get a natural anti-inflammatory effect. This easy addition to your diet many help with many chronic and even painful conditions.
Catherine Stack is a doctocan be reached at 298-8603 r of naturopathy and a certified nurse midwife. Her practice is located at Journey II Health in Niagara Falls. She or at her website at journeyiihealth.com.