Depressed by dieting? Cheer up with chia! Too many high-fat foods, and too little time, make it hard to eat healthy — which is why Dole Nutrition Plus has introduced a line of chia products that can provide a simple, delicious and nutritious solution to diet challenges. Gone are the days when “chia” conjured visions of clay figurines sprouting chia “hair.” This ancient Aztec staple has gained increasing recognition as a nutrition powerhouse — and just-published research points to chia’s potential as an anti-obesity ally.
A basic study from the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that chia significantly restrained unhealthy effects of obesity. Researchers fed rats the equivalent of the American diet — high-sugar, high-fat feed — mixing chia into the chow of a chosen few. After eight weeks, the chia group had 39% lower blood sugar, 25% less stomach fat, 50% less liver fat, and 46% less inflammation than those on the obesity diet alone. Why might this be? Chia is loaded with certain omega-3 fatty acids which may have prompted metabolic enzymes to redistribute fat away from the abdominal area, where it does the most harm. Moreover, previous preliminary research found that omega-3 prevented the development of fat cells in lab cultures.
In addition to omega-3s, chia’s concentrated nutrition might curb cravings associated with nutrient deficiencies. Indeed, chia seeds (3 tablespoons) have as much protein as an egg and 21% more fiber than flax! Chia seeds are great blended into smoothies, tossed with salads, or incorporated into recipes like our Cinnamon Chia Granola. In addition to milled and whole chia seeds, Dole Nutrition Plus offers Chia & Fruit Clusters in three scrumptious flavors for a healthy snack on-the-go.
Published July 1, 2012