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Chia Seeds: Super Food or Hoax?

If you participate in one of Laura Savard’s nutrition workshops at All Wellness,  you may start to open your mind about the power of food. I did her Group Cleanse last spring and it continues to change my life. Really. I ate vegan and almost gluten-free for the entire month of January and now I’m eating Chia seeds. Every day.

I first read about chia seeds in Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall. This book inspired me to run (I sucked at it), but Laura inspired me to give up dairy (I am a great vegan). The Group Cleanse, based on The Clean Program designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger, caused me to rethink the way I eat. I am lighter, I am happier and and I have more energy. I have Laura to thank for this…and Chia seeds.

I asked Laura about Chia seeds, she uses them often, but to her they are too much like tadpoles when mixed into a pudding. As I kid I loved tapioca and tadpoles, so I’m happy to eat chia seed pudding. And that’s just what I’ve been doing at breakfast every day for the past three weeks. I feel amazing. Here’s why:

Chia seeds contain:

  • 700% more Omega-3 than salmon
  • 500% more Calcium than milk (and the calcium in chia seeds is accessible to your body, whereas the calcium in milk is not)
  • 500% more Protein than kidney beans
  • 1400% more Magnesium

The list goes on and on (see below). The Omega-3 is a big one for many of us. Everything from depression and ADHD to heart disease and hypertension can be caused from the lack of Omega-3 in the diet.

The Tarahumara, the tribe of super athletes upon which Born to Run is based, are big Chia seed eaters. They don’t seem depressed or unfocused. The Tarahumara are famous for their incredible physical endurance. McDougall and many nutrition scientists attribute much of the Tarahumara physical prowess to their diet, filled with Chia seeds just before its time to hit the track. Chia seeds were also once staple foods in the Incan, Mayan and Aztec cultures.

But you don’t have to take it from the Incas or the Aztecs or even from science, you can take it from me, the regular ingestion of chia seeds makes you feel energized. No hoax. But if you are anxious about tadpoles, you might not like the pudding, but do try chia seeds for yourself. You’ll like the result.

image credits: choosingraw.com, bestchiaseeds.wegrc.com