The Health Benefits of Chia

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Chia is native to South America. It has been a staple of Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It’s is one of the highest known sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs help with the support of our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems.

Chia is known to beneficial for many reasons.

• Micronutrients
Chia is high in antioxidants. It also provides a hefty amount if minerals including B vitamins, vitamin C, as well as calcium, iron and potassium.

• Can help reduce blood pressure.

• Chia has anti-inflammatory properties. It aids in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and reduces C-reactive protein (a protein that is created by the liver when inflammation has occurred in the body).

• Stabilizes blood sugar which can lead to weight loss.
Chia slows down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are absorbed and digested by the body. Chia is a soluble fiber. The seed absorbs water and expands to form a gel that will fill you faster, resulting in the consumption of fewer calories. Fiber and protein slow down the digestive process so hunger isn’t triggered as quickly as it is with sugars, starches and simple carbohydrates. As a result of this, your metabolism is boosted.

• Energy and Hydration
In the Mayan language, Chia means “strength”. Aztec warriors used Chia as their main source of fuel during conquest. Due to it soluble properties and the ability to stabilize blood sugar, your energy levels are steady and sustained. Chia is also known as “Indian Running Food”. It helps regulate the electrolyte balance, keeping you hydrated for long periods of time. Fitness enthusiast have become very aware of its benefits and are adding it to their routines rather than the other options.

• Aids in constipation
Chia is also an insoluble fiber. The insoluble part of it does not digest, which aids in constipation and other digestive disorders.

• Mental health
Omega – 3 fatty acids have been proven to increase brain function and decrease depression. So, incorporating it into your daily diet on a regular basis can improve your mental health.

Now that I’ve listed all the reasons to incorporate Chia into your diet, let me explain the versatilities of it. It can be eaten raw, roasted, ground or mixed.

• Chia can hold more than 12 times its water weight and is virtually tasteless. It is a chameleon for flavors, which is a dream healthy ingredient. You can put it in oatmeals, puddings, jams and any beverage of choice. A popular Chia infused beverage in Mexico that can be made in your own home is a “Chia Fresca”. This includes water, lemon and a sweetener of your choice (I recommend liquid stevia).

20130522-222908.jpg• Chia can be used as an egg replacer. This is especially beneficial for those that are watching their cholesterol. All you have to do is mix one tablespoon of Chia with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15 minutes. The mixture will be thick, as expected. This is to be done for each individual egg required. I personally love doing this for baking treats. This is a safer and healthier way for the little ones to lick the bowls and beaters clean 😊

20130523-184851.jpgChia is a fantastic thickening agent. You can use it in place of cornstarch to thicken gravies or soups. All you really need is a couple of tablespoons.

Sprouted Chia would me a wonderful addition to any salad or sandwich.

20130523-184533.jpgMaking your own sprouted Chia is fairly simple. Just take a wet plate and sprinkle the seeds all over. Every 12 hours or so, sprits the seeds with a little water. Just enough to moisten them. You’ll see a gel coating on each of the seeds. Within a couple of days, the shell will crack and the sprout will begin to grow. Seems simple enough, right?!

These are just a few suggestions of a hundred ways to incorporate Chia into your diet. Your options are only limited by your imagination!

Look here for more information on complex vs. simple carbohydrates.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

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Bromine is a toxic chemical that is extracted from sea water. It is added to a vegetable oil that is created from pressing vegetables, hence the name “Brominated Vegetable Oil” or BVO for short. While it is more commonly known for being a food additive, it can also be found in many other products.

Where can bromine be found?

  • Bakery goods (used in flour as a “dough conditioner” called potassium bromate)
  • Soft drinks (including Mountain Dew, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca, Powerade and other citrus-flavored sodas).
  • Medication (some inhalers, nasal sprays, and oral sedatives)
  • Toothpastes
  • Mouthwashes
  • Hair dyes
  • Fire retardants
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics (cables, connectors, and plastic covers)
  • Homes and Automobiles (carpets, upholstery, and paints)
  • Hot tub and swimming pool treatments (as a bleaching and sanitizing agent)

BVO is banned as a food additive in more than 100 countries with the exception of the U.S. and Canada. It competes with iodine receptors in your body. This is an issue because iodine is essential for your body. Having elevated levels of bromine can be linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, hearing loss, hypothyroidism, and cancer.

cdac709e9c25efb607f7fe4656ac8c24There are a lot of articles talking about how BVO is found in Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo. Yes, BVO, used to be an ingredient in Gatorade. But, early this year, PepsiCo announced that they would remove BVO from their Gatorade drinks in response to customer concerns. They replaced it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate. With that said, they are still putting it in other citrus flavored drinks of theirs, like Mountain Dew.

*Please note that sucrose acetate isobutyrate and glycerol ester of wood rosin are substitutes for BVO that are listed as generally safe to be used as a food additive.

Look here to view the importance of iodine. Please note that having low levels of iodine affects the thyroid, therefore it is especially crucial for people with hypothyroidism to be aware of this ingredient.

Look to here view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our food.

The dangers of fluoride

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I grew up believing that fluoride was extremely important and healthy to consume, as I’m sure most had the same thought. I was at a loss for words to find out how dangerous it really is and how much we consume without knowledge.

What is fluoride exactly? Well, it’s a pollutant by-product of aluminum manufacturing. It is so toxic that it has the ability to eat through metal and concrete. A fluoride spill results in the use of hazmat suits for clean up. Many years ago, it was used as an insecticide and rat poison. This was before it was deemed as a ‘cavity fighter’. While it is highly marketed for its dental benefits, It can actually cause more harm than good. If too much is consumed it can cause your teeth to become discolored and crumble.

Sadly, it being added to toothpaste is not where it ends. It can also be found in our bathing AND drinking water along with prescription medicine. More than 300 chemicals are being pumped into our water supply under the name of fluoride. Companies would have to pay a fee for the disposal of it due to its toxicity, but instead our cities are paying as much as millions of dollars a year to legally pump it in. While we cannot prevent too much of it being absorbed into our skin through showering, there are other ways to reduce the consumption.

Prescription medicine, such as Prozac, is a form of fluoride. Strong doses of fluoride can make a person more docile and easier to control. This is a practice that goes way back to the Nazis. The Nazis were pumping it into the drinking water of the concentration and slave labor camps, resulting in less hostility from their prisoners.

A number of different studies have linked fluoride to as many as 10,000 cancer deaths per year. It has also been shown to enhance the brains absorption of aluminum, the substance that’s found in Alzheimer’s patients. Consuming excess amounts of fluoride can be shown to damage the musculoskeletal and nervous system, leading to joint mobility, ligament calcification, muscular degeneration, and neurological deficits.

Many bottled water brands contain fluoride – Zephyrhills, Dasani, and Nestlé (containing the highest amount) … Just to name a few. Fiji has small trace amounts of it, but is considered to be negligible. Glacier water is reported to be the best for you. I was shocked to find out that Brita, Pur and most other filtering systems DO NOT remove fluoride.

There are three possible methods of fluoride removal.

• Distillation Filtration
Commercially available distillation filters that can remove fluoride from the water.

PLEASE NOTE: when looking on the labels of bottled water, keep in mind that ‘distilled water’ can still contain impurities that are not suitable for drinking.

• Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Can be installed into your home, but is fairly expensive to have for persoanl use.

• Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter
I’ve read that the cheapest filter is around $30.00 and requires frequent replacement.

Publix has a glacier water machine. It has the reverse osmosis filtration method. The fee is anywhere from $0.30 – $0.35 a gallon and $1.50 – $1.55 per five gallon jug (at least in my area). This is where I get my personal supply of my water. I use it for just about everything – To make my own ice cubes, for drinking and even for cooking.

NOTE: Freezing fluoride infused water does not affect the concentration, but you will still be consuming it. Boiling it will make it MORE concentrated.

•Look here to view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our foods.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load. What are they and why are they important?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking system that tells you how carbohydrate-rich foods affect blood sugar (glucose). The lower the number assigned to a food, generally the better. This is because a low GI food is slowly digested, causing less of a spike in insulin. Producing less insulin may prevent diabetes, halt heart disease and help curb hunger, contributing in weight management.

The scale goes from zero to 100 with pure glucose being ranked at 100. Foods that rank 70 and over are considered to have a GI index. In most indexes (there are some minor variation between lists) these include potatoes, refined white and wheat bread, raisins and other dried fruit. Foods ranked medium include most types of pasta, baked beans, yams, green peas, sweet potatoes, orange juice and blueberries. Low glycemic index foods include beans, cruciferous vegetables, yogurt, grapefruit, apples and tomatoes.

  • 55 or less is low
  • 56-69 is medium
  • 70 or more is high
Low glycemic eating is  most efficient and natural way to lose fat.  According to the Glycemic Research Institute, high glycemic carbohydrates store in the fat cells.

Low glycemic eating is most efficient and natural way to lose fat. According to the Glycemic Research Institute, high glycemic carbohydrates store in the fat cells.

The GI does not tell you how much carbohydrates are in a particular food, but the glycemic load (GL) does. The GL is a relatively new method that is often used in tandem with the GI. The GL considers the serving size of the food and calculates the number of carbohydrates in that particular serving of food. As a result, you have a more accurate means of predicting how the carbohydrates of a given food will affect your blood sugar.

  • 10 or less is low
  • 11-19 is medium
  • 20 or more is high

The GL is calculated by multiplying the GI value by the number of grams of carbohydrates, then dividing by 100. For example, if 1 cup of a food item provides about 10 grams of carbohydrates, and the GI of that food item is 49. That makes the GL of a cup of that item about 5, since 49 × 10 ÷ 100 = 4.9.

It is important to do the calculation because simply looking at the number of grams of carbohydrates on a label can give you a false reading of how they will affect your blood sugar. Look here for an example of what I’m talking about.

  • Look here to learn more about cruciferous vegetables.
  • Look here for a chart of 100+ foods with their GI and GL levels.
  • Look here to view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our foods.

What are we really eating?

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Lets say we live in a world of truth. We could walk into any grocery, convenience, or restaurant location and all items were labeled as they truly are. I’d like a glass of diabetes, plate of cancer, and a side dish of sterilization, please! That’s right, thousands of products that are consumed on a daily basis are filled with ingredients that cause illnesses and life threatening diseases. The sad thing is, these ingredients are FDA approved. For me, it’s nauseating to hear and see this, just nauseating.

Below is a video that was posted to inform us of this very concern. It contains information about the foods we eat and give our children without hesitation. Eliminating foods with these ingredients can improve and lengthen our lives. Please be sure to watch the entire video. Every last second contains vital information.