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Guest Post // The Healthy Blue Bird: Chia Seeds

29 July 2014

Today's I want to introduce you to The Healthy Blue Bird...the new health blog written by one of my best friends Claire!

Claire's a total health bunny and currently in training with IIN to become a health coach...so grab a cup of herbal tea and have a good old read about the wonders of Chia Seeds!


Chia seeds may seem like the latest health food fad but these bad boys have been around for thousands of years, fascinatingly even Aztec warriors consumed them for sustenance whilst running long distances or during battles!

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family and are native to Mexico and South America.

With more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, a wealth of antioxidants and minerals, a complete source of protein and high levels of fibre these seeds have been dubbed 'a dieter's dream', 'the miracle running food' and 'the ultimate super food' by advocates and athletes.

Top Five Benefits of Chia Seeds:

Protein, Protein and yet more Protein
Chia seeds are a complete source of protein so your body can use them to repair and build muscle. Before the meat eaters scoff that they already get enough protein, it's good to know that animal protein contains bad cholesterol which is linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. With zero cholesterol, chia seeds should not simply be reserved as a protein source for vegetarians, everyone can benefit from them. They also pack a punch of protein. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds gives a massive 4.4 grams of protein, which is nearly 10% of your RDA.

Increase your Healthy fatsThe war on fat is biased and unfounded. Although nobody is doubting that a cheeseburger will contribute to you gaining weight, healthy unsaturated fats, such as those found in chia seeds are good for the body. Eating healthy omega-3 fatty acids will not only reveal its benefits in your skin, hair and nails, but they also keep your brain healthy, strengthen your immune system and improve your heart and cholesterol health.


Stabilises blood sugarDue to the high fibre content of chia seeds (two tablespoons provides half your RDA of fibre) they have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, fighting insulin resistance, which can prevent, reduce and even cure diabetes. As if this wasn't enough, insulin resistance can be tied to an increase in belly fat....so ditch the crunches and load up on chia seeds to get rid of any unwanted belly squish.

Digestion
When chia seeds are mixed with liquid they create a gel like substance. This gel like texture can get into all the hard to reach parts of your intestine, sweeping up undigested food which has been stuck in the intestinal folds. It also picks up toxins expelled from your liver and takes them along for the journey, meaning they don't get re-absorbed back into your blood stream.

Hydration
Because chia seeds can swell up to four times their original size they're the perfect perfect pre/post/mid workout hydration booster. They contain an abundance of vitamins and mineral...much unlike the very additive filled lucozade! Choose wisely!

So now that you've learnt all about these marvellous seeds now you can learn how to use them. he seeds are flavourless so it is easy to pack them into your usual meals by adding them to a smoothie or sprinkling them on salad but you might also like to try...

Chia waterPerfect for rehydrating post run, or for an energy burst mid run, mix a tablespoon of chia seeds with 1 litre of water and add mint and cucumber for a refreshing drink.


Chia seed porridge
This makes 4-5 portions and is great for breakfast. It lasts in the fridge for up to 6 days.

All you have to do is mix one cup of chia seeds with one litre of almond milk, add a tablespoon of cinnamon and stir. And that's it! I like to load mine up with banana or berries for an extra kick of flavour!

So what are you waiting for?? Get purchasing your chia seeds from Amazon or your closest health food shop now!

And finally....a little bit about Claire...


“Inside us all patiently waiting, sits a tiny little adventurous bird”…

And this little bird has decided her health is pretty damn important and to fly away from her city law job to study nutrition and health coaching!

This blog is about general health and wellbeing with a huge big fat focus on nutrition.

There is so much written about nutrition but often it is fairly extreme and pretty confusing. A lot of my focus will be on superfoods which you have perhaps heard of, but are a bit unsure of what they are and how to use them . I hope to demystify them for you so that you can include them into your diet and reap the benefits.
Oh and you must meet Alan, the healthy blue bird himself!

Head over here to read her gorgeous blog, or connect with her here on facebook or on twitter here.


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