Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Omega-3 that isn't fish oil

I know many of you are using fish oil for omega-3, but have you ever considered chia seeds?! They are similar to flax, but better. Flax goes rancid with heat and light, chia seed doesn't. Flax can't be cooked or baked into recipes, because it turns rancid with heat and chia seed can. Also, some startling information I learned about flax, it is a vitamin B interrupter and I know that our kids NEED as much vit B as we can offer them! It also interferes with thyroid function due to a substance called cyanogens which is converted in the body to become another chemical called Thiocyanate (SCN). Chia contains the right ratio of omega-3 to 6 (3:1). The Omega-3 in chia is Alpha-Linolenic (ALA) and, of course contains no risk of added mercury!

You can add water to it (9:1) and it becomes a gel that can be added to any foods without adding ANY flavor. Or you can use juice instead of water and then drink it or take it by the spoonful. The stuff is really great!!

We use it in hot cereal, muffins, cookies, pancakes, waffles, by the spoonful, sprinkled on top of things like waffles with nut butter and bananas with the chia sprinkled on top. It's tasteless and adds SO much to your diet.

Just some info from the packaging I thought was really interesting: 3 1/2 ounces of chia (we use Anutra brand) is equivalent to the following:

omega-3's (20g) in 2 pounds of Atlantic salmon
vegetable protein (24g) in 1 1/2 cups of kidney beans
calcium (520mg) in 1 3/4 cups of milk (added bonus here for us CF people)
fiber (32g) in 1 1/2 cups of all bran
potassium (552mg) in 1 1/4 bananas
magnesium (231mg) in 2 1/4 pounds of broccoli (how do ya like them apples?)
iron (6.7mg) in 2 pounds of raw spinach (WOAH!)

Some other benefits in just 15 grams of the stuff: lignans-1275mg, ORAC (oxygen radical absorption capacity)-75 per gram, Vit E-764mcg, B vitamins-2,146mcg, selenium-11mcg, calcium-78mg, chromium-11mcg, iron-1,007-mcg

So without the risk of sounding like a spokesperson (too late, huh?) I just thought I would share this powerhouse of a food that we are benefiting from.

Let it be known that among many of the other seeds/grains we are now using, the chia seed is an ancient seed. I find it interesting how we think we are such an advanced civilization, however, many of the most beneficial foods available are ancient and making a come back. Much of what modern civilization produces is damaging to our insides! How ironic is that? Perhaps we should learn to trust what the ancient civilizations have offered us!

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