Omega-3 Cheers for Chia Seed Drinks!
So what’s the big deal with these little seeds? How can something so tiny do so much for your health?
Here’s the scoop on why you should eat chia daily and why I think chia drinks are the best way to consume them.
Let’s get geeky…
By now you are probably clear that there are three Essential Fatty Acids, Omega-3’s Omega-6s and Omega-9s (labeled essential because our bodies cannot make them). But a lesser discussed topic is the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s and how an imbalance in these essential fats contributes to the inflammation cycle.
As we mentioned in the Turmeric Tonic Recipe post, inflammation is a contributing factor to most chronic diseases. Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, auto-immune disorders, diabetes and so many more are affected by inflammation in the body. So how does the balance of Omega-3s to Omega-6s affect inflammation?
Here is the (admittedly oversimplified) breakdown …
- Omega-3s and Omega-6s complete for the same enzyme (and 6s tend to be the bully who wins that fight more often than not!).
- The Standard America Diet is LOADED with 6s (cuz of the cheap, high Omega-6 oils like corn, cottonseed, soy and safflower in so many foods).
- So while we evolved on a diet with an Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio of somewhere between 1:1 and 1:4, the S.A.D can be as much as 1:24!
Keep with me- I know this is bookworm material…
- When Omega-3s are broken down they make EPA which helps CONTROL inflammation (SIDE NOTE: some people believe we can’t make EPA & must supplement, but I believe we can make it when our 3 to 6 ration is balanced)
- When Omega-6s breakdown it should convert to DGLA which also controls inflammation, but when excess insulin is present (as it often is because many of us eat too much sugar) the breakdown rushes on to become Arachidonic Acid which PROMOTES inflammation.
Confused? Let’s get straight to what to do about consuming a balanced ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s!
- Eat LOTS of leafy greens and veggies (almost all are a 1:1 ratio of 3s to 6s that will keep you balanced)
- Consume Omega-3s on purpose (skip the oils that might be rancid and go straight to fresh chia or flax seeds)
- Switch from processed crackers to flax crackers (try garlic & onion flax crackers or garlic rosemary flax crackers)
- Drink Chia drinks (make your own or try pre-made versions like Mama Chia)
Chia drinks are my favorite way to consume extra Omega-3s because…
- The seeds keep longer than flax
- Chia has a mild flavor that can be masked by just about anything
- Drinking them (or using them already hydrated) makes them very digestible so those 3’s get workin’ in the body rapidly!
My daily chia drink recipe…
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups water (or coconut water is a real treat)
1 drop vanilla
fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
OPTIONAL: sweeten with your favorite natural sweetener
Soak the chia seeds in water until swollen then flavor as above- or as you desire. The are fabulous with fresh juices too!
What is your favorite way to consume chia seeds. Share with us by posting your comments below.