Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cha, Cha, Cha, Chia

Remember that song?  Who would have thought that those little seeds would be considered a Super Food?  I have learned that Chia seeds are pretty super!  I've listed some benefits below:
  • 30% of the chia seed’s oil is Omega 3 oil. 40% of its oil is Omega 6 oil. The chia seed’s substantially dense percentage in alpha-linolenic fatty acid also makes this seed a healthy dietary source of fatty acids.
  • You do not need to grind the chia seeds to digest it. It is a relatively easy to digest seed, whereas flax seeds are not. Often, one has to grind flax seeds to be able to process them in their digestive system. That is not the case with chia seeds.
  • The chia seeds are great for athletes because they are highly hydrophilic. Being hydrophilic means it absorbs large amounts of water. Chia seeds can absorb over 10 times their weight in water making them a great enhancer in hydrating our bodies. They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer.
  • Studies show that eating chia seed slows down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrate calories into simple sugars. This leads scientists to believe that the chia seed may have great benefits for diabetics.
  • The chia seed gels when becoming wet and this gel, when in our digestive systems, helps prevent some of the food, hence calories that we eat from getting absorbed into our system. This blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper. Eating the seeds also helps dieters by making them feel fuller faster so they will be less hungry!
  • Chia seeds provide antioxidant activity (side note - Researchers believe that antioxidants can lower blood pressure, open up arteries, slow the aging process, stop the growth of tumors, and improve neurologic function. This means they fight cancer, heart disease, and neurological processes such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Our cells, including skin cells, age more slowly. Brain waves slow down and enhance calmness and sleeping).

I just throw Chia seeds into my Vita Mix and add them to my smoothies.  You can mix Chia seeds into yogurt, sprinkle them on cereal in the morning, add to salads, or even add them to your baking. There are many ways to add these seeds into your daily routine!  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rotating Your Greens

I am enjoying a green smoothie right now.  It has Coconut Water, Red Stem Chard, Carrots, Ginger Root, Celery, Diakon Sprouts, Pear, Banana, Blueberries, Wheat Grass, Coconut Oil, Flax Seed Oil and Chia Seeds.  It is yummy! 

Until recently, I always used Spinach or Kale as my base.  Both are great.  But, then I learned the importance of rotating my greens.  To meet our nutritional needs, it is essential that we learn to include greens from a number of totally different plant families into our daily diets.   Greens are the prime source of nutrition needed.  It is really hard to EAT enough greens, but so easy to throw them into a smoothie.  Smoothies are an easy and delicious way for us to enjoy our greens and an EXCELLENT way to get more greens into the diets of our kiddos.

The following is a list of greens that should be rotated in our diets.


Greens:
Arugula
Asparagus
Amaranth
Beet greens (tops)
Bok choy
Bamboo Leaves
Carrot tops
Celery
Chard
Cactus, napal leaves
Collard greens
Endive
Escarole
Fresee lettuice
Goji leaves (wolfberry)
Grape leaves
Kale (3 types)
mache
Mitsuna
Mustard greens
Lettuce (all types red and green)
Orach
Pumpkin or squash leaves
Radicchio
Radish tops
Salad Burnet
Spinach
Romaine lettuce green and red leaf (no Iceberg or light colored leaf)
Turnip greens
Wheatgrass
Herbs:
Aloe Vera
Baby dill
Basil
Cilantro
Fennel
Lemon Balm
Mint
Parsley (2 types)
Peppermint leaves
Spearmint
Shiso
Stevia


So get that Vita Mix and drink up and enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Coconut Oil - It's called a Miracle

Ever heard of Coconut Oil?  It's relatively new to me.  There is actually a book called "The Coconut Oil Miracle."  Let me tell you about this miracle.  It is called the perfect food. When taken as a supplement, used in cooking, or applied directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to: Promote weight loss; Help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases; Strengthen the immune system; Improve digestion; and Prevent premature aging of the skin.  Wow!

So how do you use it, you might ask. There are many ways to use coconut oil and incorporate it into your diet. Since it is a stable cooking oil, you can simply replace unhealthy oils in your diet with coconut oil. Since it is a solid most of the time at room temperature or when refrigerated, it can be a butter or margarine substitute for spreads or for baking. It can be mixed in with “smoothies.” Many people do eat  it simply by the spoon full. If you refrigerate or freeze Virgin Coconut Oils the taste changes completely, and some describe it like a “candy” or “white chocolate.”  Some people use it in their coffee or tea. I put 3 tbsp in my green smoothie today.  It gave it a mild coconut flavor. 

Then there are the external uses.  Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin.  Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging skin. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

So go out and get some!  They have little jars at the grocery store.  I got a very large jar at the Health Food Store.  I am excited about using more of this little miracle!