By now, most people would have heard about chia seeds; your yoga teacher recommended them, your naturopath told you to start eating them by the bucket load or you saw them advertised in your favourite bread from the super market.
But do many of us actually know why they are good for us?
Salvia hispanica or chia is a species of flowering plant that was originally found in Southern Mexico and Guatemala. The Kimberley region of Australia is currently one of the largest growers of chia seed worldwide.
So what makes chia so special? Chia seeds contain massive amounts of omega 3 fatty acids similar to those found in fish oil. Although through all the research, chia was comparable, if not significantly superior to fish or krill oil in improving health in all the main health fields, such as arthritis, inflammation, pain, etc. and is cheaper and far more environmentally sustainable to boot.
Chia is the highest vegetable source of omega 3 in the form of ALA or alpha-linolenic. Chia is additionally very high in protein and rich in the minerals calcium and phosphorus, which are great for muscle and bone strength.
But a groundbreaking discovery was made about chia. A team of world-class Biomedical scientists, based at the University of Southern Queensland, and led by Professor Lindsay Brown, Dr. Panchal, and Dr. Poudyal, made a giant discovery about the simple little chia seed: Chia seeds cause weight loss and the reversal of Metabolic Syndrome (the combination of obesity, diabetes, fatty liver and high blood pressure).
But that’s not all! Chia seeds trigger all of it while the subjects are still eating a high fat, high sugar diet! You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that this means you can now eat whatever you want, as long as you add chia to your diet.
And yes, whilst this all sounds miraculous, the research findings are evidence based from studies that have been presented in international journals and conferences all around the world by professor Brown and his team.
It gets better. Chia seeds don’t just trigger weight loss to occur, it additionally allows the physical transfer of fat from the highly dangerous area of central, deeply stored fat around the organs of the abdomen, to subcutaneous fat, just under the skin.
Now this is great news for a number of reasons. Central obesity, or the kind which is stored around the middle, is the most dangerous kind as it is controlled and responsible for the release of many hormones, inflammatory mediators and chemicals that stimulate more serious complications, diseases and ill health.
Did you know that these same hormones, inflammatory cells and chemicals literally trap the fat inside cells around the abdomen and no amount of exercise or eating right can change that? Professor Brown and his team found that chia seeds were one of the only effective interventions to halt these inflammatory cells, finally allowing the release of the fats from the abdomen to be redistributed to other areas of the body and finally burned as fuel through exercise and dietary changes!
So not only did weight loss occur, but the body became once again sensitive to insulin, the heart and the liver were rebuilt to health and bone density increased, as did lean muscle mass.
This is almost mind boggling really!
Now who else would benefit from chia? Not only overweight individuals but the elderly. This redistribution of fats is invaluable to the elderly, who tend to lose fats in the subcutaneous areas, such as the face, arms and legs. This can strongly affect their ability to regulate temperature and the fats here actually act as insulation. Chia has the ability to re-supply fats to these areas.
One other area of great benefit is in the arena of beauty. Moving central fat from the abdomen to just under the skin can lessen wrinkles and make us look more youthful, healthier and radiant.
So, not only are we losing weight, we are also having fat transferred to just under the surface of the skin in the face, arms, neck, and legs, firming and toning these area’s.
Now excuse me for making such a blunt observation, but this reminds me of a very similar process many people pay thousands of dollars to a plastic surgeon to perform and which come with many risks and possible complications.
But we are still actually talking about a tiny seed virtually doing the same thing for you, without you leaving the house, paying thousands of dollars and there’s no risks or complications.
So to re-cap:
Eating chia seeds stimulates weight loss, transports fats from the dangerous abdominal area to just under the skin making you look younger and healthier, increases lean muscle mass, bone density, lowers blood pressure, improves liver and cardiovascular function and much more!
And 1-2 tablespoons of chia or more a day is what Professor Brown recommends you eat to gain these health benefits.
It couldn’t be easier!
Photo: Professor Lindsay Brown (left) with Dr. Sunil Panchal at Breathe Health Club Hervey Bay QLD, where they gave a talk to a packed audience on their exciting new findings about Chia.