How Chia Seeds Can Help to Improve Your Digestion

Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It seems like everyone is talking about Chia seeds these days.

Chia seeds were recently featured as the food of the day on the Spartan Race blog, where they were described as “one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence.” A recent news report on ABC’s Good Morning America called Chia seeds the “Food of the Year for 2013”.

Dietician Lauri Boone’s book, “Superfoods for Life: Chia,” is packed with great Chia-based recipes and tips for integrating Chia into your diet. With Boone’s help, you can take advantage of the nutritious benefits of this super seed.

Boone explains how Chia can help you with your digestion:

“Chia seeds are one of the simplest, fiber-rich foods that you can add to your diet to improve digestion and elimination. Here are a few simple diet (and lifestyle) tips to get you started on the path to a happy and healthy gut.

Boost your dietary fiber intake naturally

Add 1 ounce (28.35g) of chia seeds (2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons) to your daily diet for an extra 10 grams of dietary fiber—the amount missing from most diets. You can sprinkle a small amount of chia seeds into your diet throughout the day as you build up to this intake (and perhaps discover that you require just a small amount to improve digestion).

Make friends with fermented foods

Fermented foods contain the probiotics (“good” bacteria) that help support the digestive and immune systems. Miso, kombucga, kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut are all good choices.

 Drink more water

Staying hydrated helps prevent constipation and supports the kidneys and removal of waste products through the urine. Strive for at least 1 to 2 liters (1 to 2 quarts) of pure water each day—especially if you are starting to increase your fiber intake.

Remember that increasing your fiber intake too rapidly (too much, too soon) without also increasing your fluid intake can cause abdominal pain, bloating and constipation. So be sure to drink plenty of fluids as you gradually increase your fiber intake with chia seeds and other fiber-rich foods.

Choose organic when available and your budget allows

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, organic crops are, by definition, produced without synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, irradiation, genetically modified organisms, and, yes—sewage sludge.

Organic animal products are produced without the use of hormones or antibiotics and fed 100 percent organic feed. In essence, choosing organic food helps reduce your toxic load from the amount of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics your body would otherwise be exposed to at each meal.

And when you choose more organic whole foods (that grow in the ground or on a tree) and fewer processed foods (that come in a bag or box), you will help supply your body with the synergistic blend of nutrients it needs to support the important work of the liver, intestines, and kidneys.

Eat mindfully

Chewing begins the process of digestion. Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly aids digestion. So slow down and savor each meal and snack.

Move more

Building time into your weekly schedule for exercise—as simple as a brisk walk a few times a week—helps keep the bowels moving and may prevent constipation and ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. For those who enjoy more intense exercise—like running or hot yoga—sweating also aids the body in detoxification. So go ahead and sweat those toxins out!

Just say “om”

Stress can wreak havoc on your digestion, and indeed, experts recognize the connection between your brain and your gut. Reducing stress through deep breathing, visualization, or meditation may also help improve digestion.

Superfoods for Life Chia

Chia is one of nature’s all-star superfoods. High in protein, fiber, minerals and essential fatty acids, this little seed packs a nutritional punch. Moreover, it’s portable, versatile and easy to integrate into your diet. Just a spoonful adds a shot of nutrition to drinks, crunch to salads, or a tasty protein substitute in garden burgers and soups.

This handy guide includes 75 delicious recipes, fun facts and lore, and tons of tips for using chia every day for health and beauty.

Learn how you can integrate chia into your diet for improved health and well-being. “Superfoods for Life, Chia” gives overview of the superfood, fun history and facts, and its reputed nutritional benefits. Once you’ve discovered how great chia is, you’ll learn more about key nutritional properties and “cures” associated with chia, including its role as an inflammation fighter, and natural source of potent omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Each chapter references studies and research. The included 75 recipes within this book are sure to get you excited about integrating chia easily and deliciously into every meal.

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