My first introduction to chia as a food, not a pet, occurred in the summer of 2011.
I work as a mountain bike guide in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park during the summer months.
Before discovering chia, I was having problems with joint pain. If any of you have had the chance to try downhill mountain biking you will know that it’s very hard on the hands.
I was getting debilitating numbness, tingling and pain in my hands as a result of my work. Each day, the last few runs would be agony and every morning my hands would hurt. Weekends were my savior as they allowed my body to rest.
At this time a friend turned me on to this “amazing food” that gave people all kinks of health benefits. I accepted a bag of Mila, which is a brand name of chia and started adding it to my daily diet. On researching this wondrous product, I decided to do an experiment by employing a regiment of daily consumption. To be honest, I didn’t really notice much at first. I was told to look for “increased alertness”, “improved memory”, “more energy”…
It was around the 10 day mark when I noticed something had changed. I was in the middle of a vigorous work week with strong riders as clients. I noticed significant reduction in the pain, numbness and tingling that had been so prevalent in weeks prior. My recovery time greatly improved, each morning I’d wake up with a new and pain-free pair of hands.
I no longer felt like napping on the chairlift after lunch – my lunches were now consisting of a large glass of chia water, an apple, some rye bread and a piece of cheese.
Needless to say, I became a big fan of chia. I even built a website dedicated to the seed called CookingWithChia.com.
So why have I and so many others experienced measurable, often profound health benefits from regular consumption of chia?
Well, there are a number of reasons:
Chia seeds contain some of the highest plant-based sources of Omega 3′s on the planet. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation which is the leading cause of preventable disease in the world today.
There is a very simple equation that goes like this: Increased Omega 3 intake = reduced inflammation.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber. Increase fiber, decrease heart disease. Fiber is also great for “cleaning out the pipes” reducing the amount of toxins in our bodies and helping to prevent colon cancer.
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients which are known for their anti-aging and cancer preventing properties.
Chia seeds contain a complete protein which is rare in the plant kingdom. A complete protein consists of 9 essential amino acids. A slab of meet is a complete protein. So is a chia seed. Great news for those who practice vegetarian and vegan diets.
So do yourself a favour. Get on the chia program and celebrate life.
Disclaimer: Statements made in this publication are the thoughts and opinions of the author and have not been evaluated by the U.S. or Canadian Food and Drug Administration.