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20th September 2010, 05:08 PM
Adding 3 Teaspoons Per Day* To Your Daily Food Intake Is All You Need to Enjoy The Benefits of Chia: (*based on normal Body Mass Index)

Get the highest levels of plant-sourced Omega-3: Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). ALA is found mostly in seeds, vegetable oils, and leafy green vegetables. It is converted into EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and then into DHA (Docosahexanoic Acid) in your body. Not all people can efficiently convert ALA into EPA and DHA, but ALA by itself provides a host of benefits. (For more information on ALA, click here.)

Multiply antioxidant activity in your body. Powerful antioxidants from chia seeds work against free radicals that damage millions of our cells by the minute. (For more information on chia's antioxidants, click here.)
Provide your food with all-natural, nutritious dietary fibre (some fibre have minimal nutrition and can interfere with mineral absorption in the gut). A natural, high quality fibre can support weight maintenance goals, and could reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and diabetes.
Obtain a plant-based complete protein with an amino-acid score of 115%. (Read about the benefits of chia's amino-acids here.)
Provide your diet with a thermogenic aid which boosts your metabolic rate. A thermogenic aid causes your body to produce more than the normal amount of energy, and so burns more calories. (Read it here.)

Provide your diet with favorable Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio (3:1). Currently, most foods found in supermarkets today have ratios of 1:15-30 which increases the risk of inflammation. (Read why you should care about this here.)
Have a good amount of functional food in your daily diet.

Chia the new superfood?

Within a humble plant lies a secret worshipped by ancient civilisations, but until now, all but ignored by our own.

What began in South America has taken off in Australia and John Foss is now the world's largest producer of Chia seeds.

"It's a hard crop to grow," he said.

"It's latitude specific so it only grows in parts of the world and originally in that Central and South American region, which is the same latitude as where we grow it in Kimberley region in WA."

In modern day medicine, Omega 3 is well known for its prevention of heart disease and strokes.

It may be an ancient Aztec secret but in Australia the dietary benefits of Chia have only recently been re-discovered.

Touted as nature's multivitamin, the seeds (per gram) have:
1. Twice the amount of protein than wheat, barley and rice, boosting immunity
2. Five times the calcium of milk, for stronger bones
3. Twice the amount of potassium as bananas, for digestion
4. Three times more iron than spinach, increasing oxygen to the body

5. Seven times more vitamin C than oranges

"It depends on the person, but a scoop or two a day gives you all you need," John claimed.

"That has all the Omega 3 dietary fibre and antioxidants that you need for the day.

"On your cereal, in your smoothie, baking or salads and you get the benefits."

Bakers Delight has even added Chia bread to the shelves, according to General Manager Chris Caldwell.

"In 2009 we sent one of our bakers to South America to research the Aztec ancient grains and seeds in their diet and he came back with a very short list of grains we wanted to pursue to add into a healthy product," he said.

"Chia was sitting right at the top of the list."

According to Dietician Emma Stirling, whole-foods like Chia provide much more nutrients than bottled vitamins and minerals.

"They can really boost the nutrient content of your diet and certainly Chia is being touted as the new super food," Emma said.

"It takes the body longer to digest, so there are some promising benefits for people with diabetes."