10:50 AM EST, February 15, 2013
We've all seen the commercials for the Chia Pet.
But would you believe that Chia seeds are now being touted as a miracle food?
Former network medical correspondent, Dr. Bob Arnot is the author of The Aztec Diet: Chia Power: The Super Food That Gets You Skinny and Keeps You Healthy.
Arnot said, “What Chia does is it acts like lap band surgery. It fills your stomach so you feel full all the time.”
Arnot suggests replacing breakfast with a Chia shake. Mix Greek yogurt with Chia seeds, some frozen blueberries and kale.
Arnot said, “You basically have a super veggie, with a super fruit and a super grain.”
Arnot even adds Chia seeds to his turkey meatloaf.
Arnot said, “This book has been a lifelong passion. I've studied diets from around the world. This one is the best ever.”
However, you should not eat the seeds from your Chia pet. According to the company: "They’re not cleaned well, and don't go through the same FDA compliance process as the ones sold for eating."
The edible Chia seeds can be found at most health food stores.
Arnot said, “With the Aztec diet, you just feel great all day long.”
See an excerpt from Dr. Arnot's book below:
The Miracle Seed
Gram for gram, chia outperforms all of the world’s healthiest foods. Chia has:
- 8 times more omega-3s than Atlantic farmed salmon, the most in any whole food
- 6 times more calcium than milk
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- 2 times more fiber than bran flakes
- 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
- 4 times more selenium than flax
….I was sold based on the nutritional benefits but dreaded the taste test. I poured ground chia onto my cereal. No taste at all! Then I tried it in water. The ground seeds expanded and softened in the liquid but, again, no real taste. In almond milk, the ground chia added a pleasant texture. It is such a great mixer that it was easy to incorporate into my diet. For a similar nutrient value I could eat ten bowls of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, or broccoli—or four scoops of chia. What a no brainer! What an incredibly easy way to pack in nutrients and lose weight without consuming massive amounts of vegetables!
Chia is easy to add to your diet and needs little preparation. If you buy whole seeds you should grind them in a coffee-bean or other grinder, as whole seeds tend to pass through the digestive system, and eat them within a day or two. We recommend buying ground or micro-sliced chia. This can be added directly to foods and drinks, sprinkled and stirred right in. Chia is most effective when hydrated, so adding it to liquids (especially smoothies!) is the best way to go. Consider investing in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix to make your smoothies.
I turned next to my own nutritional challenge. I had been stuck at 208 pounds for five years and was as heavy as 225 when my wife was pregnant with our first son. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I starved myself or how much I exercised, the best I could do was to hit 203, only to bounce back up to 208. I’d tried all the diets: Atkins, South Beach, Zone, you name it. Part of the problem was that I was pretty fit and just couldn’t lose those last 15 pounds. I knew that if I could stop eating in the late afternoon I could lose a pound per day with all the exercise I do, but I just couldn’t stand the brain-drain from low blood sugar, and the hunger pangs would drive me to raid the fridge in the evenings. Chia changed everything. I ate a scoop at 3:00 p.m. At midnight I had eaten nothing else. How could it be?
- No hunger pangs
- No loss of brain energy
- No shaky feeling of low blood sugar
I was stunned. Then I started to look at the scale. Every day that I wanted to, I lost a pound. In fact, I had to hold myself back from losing too much weight too quickly. When I added up the calories, I was eating only 800 a day. Too little. I had to back off the chia so I’d lose weight more slowly. But the scale still amazed me: 204, 203, 202, 201, 200. Two hundred? I hadn’t been there in twenty years. Then my weight started to plummet: 198, 196, 194, 192. I was a different person metabolically and physically. As an avid amateur bike racer, I had never raced faster. I was beating kids in their twenties. I could do things like lunges, which I hadn’t done since junior high! I felt fantastic. At 188 pounds I was healthy and lean and stunned at the effectiveness of chia.
Chia didn’t only help me drop pounds. It gave me an enormous sense of calm and quiet energy. It allowed me to work long hours each day and preserve intense energy for killer workouts on cross-country skis, downhill racing skis, bikes, and paddleboards. It also gave me self-control. Two years ago I approached dinner buffets like a vacuum cleaner. Now I walk into dinners fearlessly, knowing that I can pick at them like a fussy kid.
Eager to share chia’s incredible benefits, I created a diet with this grain as its cornerstone. It may seem odd to focus a diet on a single food, but chia is so nutritious and so filling that it’s an unparalleled powerhouse. Chia serves as a gateway food, demonstrating just how powerful one food can be, then lures dieters into making other spectacular choices.